MIAMI – LOT Polish Airlines is converting 3 older Boeing 737-400s to cargo aircraft. VX Capital Partners has ordered Aeronautical Engineers Inc (AEI) to convert the aircraft to a 737-400SF (Special Freighter) cargo aircraft, AEI announced in a media release.
The 3 LOT Boeing 737-400s – with registration SP-LLE, SP-LLF and SP-LLG – are still in service, with scheduled flights in Europe. They will be phased out later this year. The first in March 2020, the second in May 2020 and the third in August 2020.
LOT Polish Airlines was established in 1928 and is Poland’s flag carrier, based in Warsaw. The airline company is one of the world’s oldest airlines in operation. It has a fleet of 90 aircraft, which are flying mostly from its hub at Warsaw Chopin Airport to 134 destinations across Europe, Asia and North America. LOT is a member of the Star Alliance.
Aeronautical Engineers Inc
After the retirement of the 3 LOT 737-400 aircraft, they will be flown to Kelowna in Canada, where KF Aerospace – an authorized AEI Conversion Center – is based. This is where the conversion to cargo aircraft will be carried out, by removing all the interior of the aircraft. Seats, carpets, galleys and lavatories will be removed and then the structure will be improved to cope with the payload by reinforcing the floor beams.
“The most complex section of any conversion is the cargo door and surrounding structure. This is usually where the conversion starts,” Robert Convey – Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at AEI – said to MRO-Network.
“On behalf of the entire AEI team, I would like to thank Vx Capital Partners for their continued support of the AEI B737-400SF, the world’s leading narrowbody freighter,” Robert Convey also said. “These additional orders reaffirm current demand and the dominant role that the B737-400SF will continue to play for years to come.”
AEI is giving old passenger aircraft a new life by converting Boeing 737-300s/737-400s/737-800s, but also MD-80s and Bombardier CRJ200s to cargo aircraft.
AEI is a global leader in the aircraft passenger-to-freighter conversion business. The company – headquartered in Miami – was founded in 1958 and is the oldest conversion company in existence today.
Vx Capital Partners
“Vx is proud to be the industry’s leading provider of 737 Classic cargo aircraft,” Will Hudson – President of Vx Capital Partners – said.
Worldwide there is an increased demand for Boeing 737-400SFs and other cargo aircraft variants, due to the demand for parcel transport, which is caused by the increasing online sale of goods.
VX Capital Partners has a fleet of more than 120 lease aircraft, of which 80 percent are Boeing 737-400s – 55 passenger aircraft and 25 cargo variants.
The company – headquartered in San Francisco – was founded in 2002 by veterans of the mid-life commercial aircraft leasing industry and has successfully executed investment strategies of several types by acquiring and managing mid-life aircraft for maximum return.