IAI To Open Boeing 777 Freighter Conversion Line In South Korea

Big Twin
Credit: IAI

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will open a passenger-to-freight conversion line in South Korea in collaboration with local MRO firm Sharp Technics K to roll out Boeing 777-ERSF aircraft.

Signed April 17, the agreement will see IAI and Sharp Technics K establish a conversion line at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport from 2024. Launched in 2019, IAI’s 777-ERSF program uses 777-300ER passenger airliners as feedstock and has dubbed the converted aircraft the “Big Twin,” claiming it is the largest-ever twin-engined freighter.

Sharp Technics K currently provides line maintenance, A and C checks, as well as cargo unit load device (ULD) repair services at its Incheon facility. The hangar has space for two 737s or a single widebody such as the 777 or 747-400/8. The MRO’s customers include Atlas Air, Jeju Air and T’way Air. 

IAI has already entered similar agreements with Etihad Engineering to set up a 777-ERSF conversion line at Abu Dhabi. 

The first 777-ERSF made its initial test flight on March 26, a little under two years since conversion works commenced on Aug. 10, 2021. 

“Today’s signing of the agreement with Sharp and Incheon International Airport represents a direct continuation of the many collaboration agreements already existing between IAI and South Korean companies, and underscores the confidence that the company has in South Korea’s ability to set up a conversion facility within the required timetable,” said Shmuel Kuzi, EVP and general manager of IAI’s Aviation Group.

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.