Boeing and DHL Launch 757 Freighter Conversion and Fleet Management Program

The Boeing Company today announced it has signed a deal to provide 44 757 Special Freighters to DHL Worldwide Express under a new program offering a total solution for airline fleet management.

As part of this total solution, Boeing Airplane Services will purchase 44 in-service 757 passenger airplanes, convert them to Special Freighter (SF) models, and provide the airplanes to DHL under a multi-year lease arrangement. Boeing Airplane Services also will provide maintenance for the airplanes for DHL under a separate maintenance and engineering agreement.

"This continues the innovation at Boeing," said Joe Gullion, president of Boeing Airplane Services. "We're offering DHL a total fleet solution - from acquisition, to conversion, to leasing, to maintenance and spares support. This new business opportunity will create value for The Boeing Company."

Boeing Capital Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company offering commercial airplane and commercial equipment leases and loans, will underwrite financing and lease services for the program.

"Boeing is indeed providing us with a 'total solution' that meets all of our unique requirements," said Terry Nord, DHL Transportation Network director. "We believe the 757SF is the ideal airplane to replace our 727s and to meet our growth projections. We will have the quietest fleet in Europe."

The program means the launch of a new 757 passenger-to-freighter conversion program.

"Customers have told us they want the conversion option for this airplane," Gullion said. "The 757SF fits an excellent freighter market segment. A conversion program makes sense because it gives operators the performance and freight-carrying capabilities of the 757 at an excellent value."

Boeing Airplane Services will manage the program from its headquarters in Bellevue, Wash. Engineering and planning management will be done at Boeing Airplane Services' Wichita, Kan., facility, while facilities within Boeing Airplane Services' global network of engineering and modification partners will perform conversion and engineering work.

The first airplane will be delivered to DHL during the first quarter of 2001.

The converted 757 will be capable of carrying 60,000 pounds (27,216 kg) of cargo and has a range of over 2,000 nautical miles (4,630 km) with volume payload capacity of over 8,000 cubic feet (226.5 m3). Specifications will depend on a number of factors, including the age of the conversion airplanes, their original model, and customers' requested configurations.

Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Boeing Airplane Services offers engineering retrofit packages, avionics upgrades, passenger-to-freighter conversions, interior reconfigurations, recovery and repair services, and airplane performance improvements for all Boeing commercial airplanes. In addition, Boeing Airplane Services has the most comprehensive spare parts distribution system in the industry, with a worldwide network of distribution and service centers. It also provides technical consulting and general contracting support for passenger and cargo airlines.

Boeing Airplane Services is part of the Boeing Commercial Aviation Services organization, which offers the aviation industry's broadest array of support resources. There are more than 10,500 Boeing airplanes in operation today around the world.

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Sean O'Donnell