Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Air France today celebrated the redelivery of a 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter to Air France, the first of three BCFs scheduled for redelivery to the airline in 2007. The first redelivery is set to take place Monday.
The second of the three 747-400s to be converted was inducted in May and is scheduled for redelivery in August.
"This 747-400BCF and the two that will follow add critical lift capacity to Air France. These three aircraft will help us to accelerate the replacement of our ageing 747-200Fs and are the perfect interim solution while we wait for the entry in service of the 777F aircraft." said Pierre Vellay, senior vice president of New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning for Air France. "In addition, the fact that it is a Boeing conversion gives us confidence that we'll have the support we need."
Air France's first redelivery is the 14th for the program since the first 747-400BCF redelivery went to Cathay Pacific in December 2005, and it is the first combi-to-freighter conversion for the program. Including orders for 11 747-400BCF kits, a total of eight carriers have ordered 49 747-400BCFs. The kits include all of the necessary parts and engineering, but carriers manage their own touch labor.
"We strive to understand the needs of our customers, and we're confident that the 747-400BCF is precisely the airplane that will satisfy Air France," said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services.
Under the BCF program, Boeing manages every aspect of the conversion process from design and production through redelivery. And after a carrier receives its BCF, Boeing supports the redelivered airplane as if it were a brand new airplane entering service. Air France's first 747-400BCF was inducted in February of this year into Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering Co. (TAECO) in Xiamen, China, for the hands-on modification work.
The 747-400 is one of three Boeing airplane models available as Boeing Converted Freighters. The other two are the MD-11BCF and the 767-300BCF.