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EgyptAir Takes Delivery of First 737-800SF Freighter, Aims to Expand Cargo Operations

Photo provided by Boeing

EgyptAir has received its first dedicated narrow-body freighter, a Boeing 737-800SF, as part of the airline’s modernization plan.

The aircraft, which was sent for conversion work to Florida-based Aeronautical Engineers Inc. (AEI) in September 2022, arrived in Cairo International Airport on Feb. 4.

The 737-800SF offers a main deck payload of up to 52,700 lbs and includes 11 full height 88” x 125” container positions, along with a large 86- by 137-inch main cargo door and a single vent door system.

The aircraft will join EgyptAir’s cargo subsidiary, EgyptAir Cargo, which already operates three Airbus A330-P2Fs with a capacity of 60 tons per aircraft.

EgyptAir is seeking to expand in the cargo market and modernize its cargo and passenger fleet. The airline aims to increase its fleet size and open new freighter markets in the coming years, leveraging its strategic location near the intersection of Africa and the Middle East.

In addition to the 737-800SF, EgyptAir is expecting to receive the first two of seven Airbus A321neos in March, which will be leased from AerCap. The airline operates a total of 28 737-800 passenger aircraft, one Airbus A320, and eight Airbus A320neos.

AEI specializes in passenger-to-freighter conversions and has received approvals from several aviation authorities, including the FAA, EASA, TCCA, UK CAA, and ANAC. The company is committed to obtaining additional foreign approvals to assist its leasing customers in placing their aircraft around the world. The 737-800SF is the only aircraft in AEI’s conversion fleet that has been approved for ETOPS 180.

The AEI converted 737-800SF freighter also includes a flexible Ancra Cargo Loading System, a rigid 9g barrier, five supernumerary seats as standard, a galley, and full lavatory. The forward-thinking design allows for containers to be loaded into the aircraft a full 16.5” aft of the forward door jamb, ensuring ground operators have sufficient maneuvering room, which minimizes potential door and aircraft strikes.

EgyptAir’s MRO arm, EgyptAir Maintenance and Engineering, is reportedly considering performing its own 737 freighter conversions in the future. The airline’s cargo operations have grown during the COVID-19 period, with the company starting new routes to accommodate the need to transport medical items and agricultural crops.

EgyptAir’s acquisition of its first converted narrow-body freighter, the 737-800SF, marks a significant milestone in the airline’s modernization plan. The aircraft will join EgyptAir Cargo’s fleet and help the airline expand its presence in the cargo market, especially given its strategic location near the intersection of Africa and the Middle East.

With a focus on modernizing its cargo and passenger fleet and increasing its fleet size, EgyptAir is poised to meet the growing needs of the local market in terms of exporting goods abroad.

Victor Shalton


  • 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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