EVA Airways Opts For IAI 777 Freighter Conversion

IAI technicians cut open space for a cargo door as they work on a Boeing 777-300ERSF.
Credit: IAI

SINGAPORE—To bolster its cargo capacity, Taiwan-based EVA Airways has selected Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert three of its Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft into freighters beginning in 2025. 

EVA told the local stock exchange that the total cost of the conversions would not exceed $40 million per aircraft and $120 million in total. The airline expects the move to add 10% to its freight capacity, adjusting the “proportion of passenger and freight revenue and enhance the company’s overall competitiveness.” 

Aviation Week’s Fleet Discovery database shows EVA is set to take delivery of 15 787s between now and 2024, bolstering its passenger fleet before the 777s head to IAI for conversion in 2025.  

“The pandemic has tested the resilience of the aviation industry,” EVA Airways President Clay Sun said. “EVA Airways is actively thinking about contingency strategies, re-examining its fleet planning, and is also optimistic about the future air cargo market demand.”

The order makes EVA the first Asia-based carrier to opt for IAI’s 777-300ERSF conversion. IAI says its 777-300ERSF has 25% more freight volume than the production 777F. The most recent order IAI received before this for the type came from Emirates, which signed on to convert some of its 777-300s at last November’s Dubai Airshow. 

Fleet Discovery shows EVA owns 17 777-300ERs. The oldest three in that fleet are 15 years old. The airline already has eight 777Fs and leases a further 17 passenger 777-300ERs. 

Freight brought EVA back into profit in 2021. The airline reported a net profit of NT$6.6 billion ($230 million) against a NT$3.3 billion loss in 2020. 

Cargo revenue improved 70% year-on-year (YOY) to NT$85 billion, contributing to the total income of NT$103.8 billion—up 16.6% YOY. Total costs increased 5% YOY to NT$84.5 billion.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.