EgyptAir Orders First Narrowbody Freighter Conversion

Egyptair Boeing 737-800
Credit: Boeing

EgyptAir, joining the acceleration among Middle Eastern carriers toward increased cargo capacity, has placed a conversion order for its first Boeing 737-800SF freighter.  

The aircraft will be converted by U.S. company Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI), EgyptAir Holding Company’s chairman and CEO, Amr Abu El-Enein said. This will be the first dedicated narrowbody freighter in the Egyptian flag-carrier’s inventory.  At present EgyptAir owns three Airbus A330-200 freighters, each capable of carrying 60 tons. 

El-Enein added that EgyptAir is seeking to increase the size of its freighter fleet to open new markets in coming years to meet the needs of Egyptian companies to export goods, especially fresh food. Like many companies, EgyptAir saw its cargo activities increase over the pandemic, notably in the transport of medical supplies and exporting agricultural products. 

Work on the new 737-800SF will start in October 2022 at AEI’s Conversion Center, Commercial Jet, in Miami, EgyptAir Cargo Chairman Ahmed Shahin said. AEI says it is currently the only conversion company to have ETOPS 180 approval on the 737-800 freighter conversion.  

AEI describes its converted 737-800SF freighter as offering a main deck payload of up to 23.9 tons, incorporating 11 full-height 88 in. x 125 in. container positions, plus an additional position for an AEP/AEH. The conversion incorporates new floor beams aft of the wing box, plus an 86 in. x 137 in. main cargo door. AEI’s design allows for containers to be loaded into the aircraft 16.5 in. aft of the forward door jamb, which the company says ensures ground operators have sufficient maneuvering room to minimize door and aircraft strikes.  

EgyptAir has an operating fleet of 48 aircraft, 26 of which are 737-800s, according to Aviation Week Network’s Fleet Discovery. An additional three 737-800s are parked or stored. The airline owns 18 of the operating 737-800 fleet, the remaining eight are leased. 

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.