Freight Amazon Air to receive first 737-800BCF

Amazon Air is set to receive its first Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft. The freighter has been converted at STAECO in Jinan, China.

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The first Boeing 737-800BCF has rolled out the STAECO facility in Jinan, where the aircraft was converted from a passenger aircraft to a cargo plane. N851DM has received a new Prime Air livery and is expected to be delivered in the next weeks.

Manufacturer Serial Number 32882 was originally delivered in June 2002 to American Trans Air. Over the years, the airframe flew for ATA Airlines and China Southern Airlines. In November 2018, GECAS acquired the aircraft and is now set to lease the airframe to Amazon Air.

Soon, the 737 freighters will join the existing fleet of 767 freighters. With the 737, Amazon Air hopes to address smaller cities that don’t have the volume of cargo to fill a 767F. It is a further diversification of the carrier´s fleet.

How many 737s will be added to Prime Air´s fleet is yet to be announced. It is clear, however, that the 737s are being leased from company GECAS. The aircraft lessor has become an essential partner for Amazon Air over the past years, as nearly forty aircraft have joined the fleet within a range of only two years.

The 737-800 has a payload capacity of 23.9 tonnes, while the 767-300 has a capacity of nearly 58 tonnes. Whether Amazon Air will use the 737 in its North American network is still unclear. Aviation media speculates that the aircraft could be used for cargo services in Europe.

Most likely, Amazon Air partners ATSG, or Atlas Air will operate the aircraft on behalf of Prime Air. Both companies are jointly operating the fleet of Boeing 767-300 Freighters. Both Atlas and ATSG have been working with 737 freighters beforehand.

Back in 2018, Amazon signed a deal for an extra ten B767F from ATSG. By 2020, the e-commerce giant hopes to have these aircraft in operations. Reportedly, the deal also included an option to lease further 17 aircraft by 2026. After the recent crash of a 767 freighter in the U.S., Amazon Air is continuing its significant growth.

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