Boeing And Coopesa Unveil New 737BCF Partnership

Boeing is unveiling a new partnership on May 5 with Coopesa that will help satisfy customer demand for converted freighters.

Coopesa, the MRO in Alajuela, Costa Rica, will start two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) lines—the first of which should open in early 2022 with the second to follow later next year. The companies did not disclose the terms of the agreement or anticipated conversion times.

Ted Colbert, Boeing Global Services CEO, told Aviation Week in late April that the OEM was finalizing plans to expand is freighter conversion capacity—so this is capability. 

By adding Coopesa, this gives Boeing its first conversion site in the Americas. 

Boeing 737-800BCF. Photo credit: Boeing

The other three are Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services in Shanghai, China; Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co. in Guangzhou, China; and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. in Jinan, China.

When asked if Boeing is considering other converted freighter sites, a company spokesman says “Conversion capacity is driven by several factors, including the business environment and market demand. We will base decisions to create additional conversion capacity based on these factors.”

Coopesa provides maintenance services for narrowbody aircraft—include the 737 Classic and NG, 757, Airbus A320 and Embraer E170/190. 

Boeing expects a demand for 1,500 converted freighters over the next two decades to satisfy projected cargo needs.

The company just delivered its 50th 737-800BCF and has more than 180 orders and commitments to date for that aircraft.

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.