Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced an order to convert four additional MD-11 passenger airplanes to freighters for Central Air Leasing. The deal includes options for up to three additional MD-11 freighter conversions. Focus Aviation of the United Kingdom will market the converted airplanes for Bermuda-based Central Air.
"This latest order for four airplanes brings the total number of MD-11s being converted for Central Air Leasing to six," said Bob O'Donnell, managing director for Focus Aviation. "Central Air is purchasing the additional conversions to take advantage of the long economic life the MD-11 freighter offers operators. Timing of the modifications aligns well with increased demand for lift in the rising cargo market."
Conversion work begins this December, with the first airplane redelivering in April 2005. Boeing's Commercial Aviation Services organization will provide detailed engineering design work and oversight of the four Central Air conversions, with Singapore Technologies Aerospace providing touch labor.
Commercial Aviation Services has performed more than 40 MD-11 freighter conversions since the program's inception.
A converted MD-11 has a capacity of 205,400-pound (93.2 tonnes) structural payload at a range of 3,486 nautical miles (6,456 kilometers) and is capable of 630,500 pounds (286,000 kg) maximum takeoff weight. The main and lower deck cargo compartments hold a total of 36 96-inch by 125-inch pallets or containers.
Boeing projects that world air cargo traffic will grow at a rate of six percent over the next two decades.