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Ethiopian Airlines Takes First Converted B737-800SF

An Ethiopian 737 MAX 8 parked in Washington. (Photo: AirlineGeeks)

On March 25, aviation leasing and sales firm GA Telesis, LLC announced the delivery of the first 737-800SF (line number MSN 32903) passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion to Ethiopian Airlines. The aircraft was delivered from an Aeronautical Engineers Inc. (AEI) authorized Conversion Center, Commercial Jet in Miami.

The second 737-800 (MSN 28826) contracted with AEI is currently undergoing the P2F conversion, with delivery expected in May 2021.

GA Telesis’ Leasing, Investment, Financing and Trading (LIFT) Group entered the air cargo sector with its first commitment with AEI signed in July 2020, followed by a second option taken in September.

LIFT President Marc Cho said, “We are proud to launch our commitment to the freighter aircraft market with Ethiopian Airlines as a partner. Ethiopian has, throughout this crisis, cemented themselves as one of the world’s top carriers.”

“They have demonstrated their ability to be creative and agile by focusing on the cargo segment to offset a reduction in passenger volume as a result of this pandemic,” added Cho.

“I would like to express my delight upon the delivery of the B737-800SF converted freighter aircraft. The delivery of the aircraft is a significant addition to our freighter capacity and frequency and will enhance our capability to serve short-haul destinations in Africa and the Middle East more economically, including the transportation of the much-needed medical supplies and vaccines,” Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said.

“This time we are not just receiving a new aircraft; we are also showing to the world that Ethiopian stands firm through a storm and strives to widen its strength and reach corners of the world with much-needed medical supplies and vaccines to save lives,” continued the CEO.

Given the remarkable growth of the main deck air cargo market, fueled by the pandemic, LIFT is negotiating additional 737SF slots, amongst slots for other aircraft models to add to their future portfolio.

LIFT specializes in aircraft and engine leasing and trading, asset-based finance, structured credit, investment management, and asset management and remarketing.

To aid in recovery from the pandemic, Ethiopian, in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), on 26th March announced it will pilot the IATA digital passport (IATA Travel Pass), a mobile application that will help passengers navigate testing and vaccine regulations and create a digital passport to facilitate travel.

Ethiopian Airlines joins RwandAir as the first airlines in Africa to embrace this initiative which is directed at enabling the recovery of aviation and tourism.

“Ethiopian Airlines is helping to lay the foundation for a re-connected world in which health credentials—COVID-19 test results to vaccination certificates—will play a role. IATA Travel Pass securely enables travellers to control verified health credential data while sharing it with airlines and authorities as may be required in the travel process. That’s going to be vitally important when governments can re-open borders for travel. As an IATA Travel Pass trial partner, Ethiopian Airline customers will be among the first to experience its benefits,” said Alexandre De Juniac, IATA director-General

Victor Shalton

Author

  • Victor Shalton

    Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Victor’s love for aviation goes way back to when he was 11-years-old. Living close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, he developed a love for planes and he even recalls aspiring to be a future airline executive for Kenya Airways. He also has a passion in the arts and loves writing and had his own aviation blog prior to joining AirlineGeeks. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at DeKUT and aspiring to make a career in a more aviation-related course.

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