The first conversion line for the 737-800BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) will land in India. The American aircraft manufacturer has chosen the Hyderabad-based Indian MRO company GMR Aero Technic (GAT) to convert 737-800s into all-cargo planes.
GAT specifies that it won this contract within the framework of Boeing’s global call for tenders. India will become the fourth country to participate in the conversion of the 737NG under the STC developed by the OEM after China (3 sites), the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, a sign that this capacity will be implemented relatively fast. However, a timetable has yet to be announced.
The partnership between GMR Aero Technic and Boeing will cover conversions of aircraft registered in India and abroad.
GMR Aero Technik possesses one widebody hangar that can house four narrowbody aircraft and one narrowbody hangar that can house two narrowbody aircraft. The organisation already can do base maintenance on aircraft belonging to the 737NG and MAX families, the A320ceo and A320neo families of aircraft from Airbus, and the Dash 8-400 and ATR 42/72 turboprops from De Havilland Canada.
In February 2021, GAT made the decision to implement new cutting-edge technology in the shape of an inflatable hangar. GAT is the only MRO business in the Asia region that has a hangar of this type erected. The Inflatable Hanger has a variety of applications, some of which include scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, the replacement of engines or landing gear, and other similar tasks.
GAT has 21 other International Regulatory approvals from a variety of countries to support its international customer base. These approvals include those from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency, and the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) of India. In addition, GAT has been granted permission to carry out work for the Defense MRO by both AS9110 and DGAQA.
According to the information that can be found on the company’s website, SpiceJet has 36 Boeing 737-800s, five Boeing 737-700s, and five Boeing 737-900s in its fleet of earlier version planes. These planes range in size from smaller to larger. In 2019, the cargo division of SpiceJet became the first company in South Asia to lease a 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter from Spectre Cargo Solutions’ NGF Alpha Ltd. Air India Express and Vistara operate a Boeing 737-800 aircraft fleet, while Air India Express has 24 planes, and Vistara has five.
Air India revealed in February that it intends to buy 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, including 190 members of the 737 MAX family. These aircraft have the potential to take the place of outdated 737-800s that Air India Express now operates.
When compared to earlier standard-body freighters, the 737-800BCF, which is based on the well-known Next-Generation 737 passenger aeroplane, provides operators with lower operating costs per payload tonne. It is currently active on all four of the world’s continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America). Because of its long-range capability and high level of dependability, the Boeing 737-800BCF enables operators to enter new markets.