Iceland’s Bluebird Nordic Aims For Eight 737-800BCFs By Year-End
Icelandic cargo airline Bluebird Nordic has received its third Boeing 737-800BCF and is scheduled to receive a further five by year-end, taking it to eight of the type.
Bluebird Nordic, which launched operations in March 2001, performs cargo flights to over 100 destinations worldwide using a fleet of 11 737 freighters (one 737-300F, seven 737-400Fs and three 737-800Fs).
On Aug. 29, newly appointed Bluebird Nordic CEO Audronė Keinytė announced the arrival of a third 737-800BCF, noting that the type has been performing very positively. Keinytė, who has headed Bluebird since April, also detailed plans to take five more 737-800BCFs by the end of the year, with more of the type anticipated in 2023 and over the next “several years.”
The all-cargo carrier is renewing and expanding its fleet in response to strong air cargo demand, with three leased 777-300ERs currently undergoing conversion and scheduled to join the fleet in 2024.
Bluebird Nordic became part of Avia Solutions Group in March 2020, when it was acquired from Iceland-based BB Holding. Avia Solutions Group, which was not previously active in all-cargo operations, includes Cyprus-headquartered AviaAM Leasing, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities.
Notably, AviaAM Leasing has been acquiring 737-800s for freighter conversion since March 2021, including the Bluebird aircraft. The lessor is aiming to have a portfolio of 25 freight conversions, spanning several different types, within four years.
AviaAM Leasing has 10 737-800 cargo-conversion slots booked with Boeing, four of which have been completed. The remaining 737-800s are scheduled for conversion in 2022-2023.
Some of the conversion work is being performed for Boeing by Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (STAECO) and Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company (GAMECO), which are both located in China.