Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Bedek Aviation Group and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) have signed a contract to establish a joint venture company to perform conversion of B767-300 aircraft from passenger to special freighter configuration.
IAI and Mitsui intend to establish the fifty-fifty joint venture, M&B Conversions Ltd., in Ireland, in the next couple of months, and have begun developing a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) in order to obtain U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency approvals in 2008.
The global cargo freighter market is expected to triple in size over the next 20 years due to the booming demand in China, India and other countries. The number of cargo freighters is forecast to double to about 3,500 during the same period, and the ratio of medium-wide-body aircraft, including the B767-300, will increase. In particular, greater demand is anticipated for converted freighters than for built-to-order freighters. The conversion target is for 80 to 100 fleets in 10 years.
The B767-300 was introduced in the late 1980s, and currently there are more B767-300's in service than any other aircraft in its class. As increasing numbers of B767-300's are retired from passenger service, the cargo conversion market will see a steep increase in eligible aircraft.
Source: IAI and Mitsui Sign Contract to Establish Joint Venture to Convert B767-300 Aircraft from Passenger to Special Freighter Configuration
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