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Cargo Air signatureSHANGHAI: February 24, 2016. Boeing has launched its Next-Generation 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) program with orders and commitments for up to 55 conversions from seven customers.

The manufacturer said YTO Airlines, based in Hangzhou, China, has ordered 10 conversions with commitments for 10 additional units; Beijing-based China Postal Airlines has ordered 10 aircraft; and GE Capital Aviation (GECAS), which will provide the initial airplane for conversion, has ordered five.

Boeing said it has also received commitments for an additional 13 aircraft from SF Airlines in Shenzhen, China and Cargo Air based in Sofia, Bulgaria; plus other orders and commitments from two unnamed customers.

Cargo Air is an ACMI provider of seven B737 Classic converted freighters to several European integrators.

"While the recovery of the global cargo market has been slow, we see demand for freighters, such as the 737-800BCF, that will carry express cargo on domestic routes," said Stan Deal, senior vice president, Commercial Aviation Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts customers will need more than 1,000 converted freighters the size of the 737, with China's domestic air freight carriers accounting for nearly one-third of the total market," he added.

The 737-800BCF can carry up to 52,800 pounds (23.9 tonnes) in 11.5 main deck standard pallet positions up to 2,000 nautical miles (3,690 kilometers). The first aircraft will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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