GECAS' Cargo Aircraft Group Announces Their First 737-800NG Passenger-to-Freighter Conversion Placement with ASL Aviation Group

Oct. 12, 2016
The aircraft will be converted into freighter configuration by Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI).

NORWALK, CONN – October 12, 2016. GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aviation leasing and financing arm of GE [NYSE: GE], today announced the placement of its first 737-800NG passenger-to-freighter converted aircraft with Dublin, Ireland based ASL Aviation Group. The agreement covers the lease of two 737-800NG freighters.

ASL Aviation Group is a diversified aviation services company offering cargo and passenger airline operations for various blue chip customers through its numerous operating entities on a global basis. ASL also provides aircraft leasing as well as maintenance and aircraft parts support through its subsidiaries ACLAS Technics and ACLAS Global. The aircraft will be operated by an ASL Aviation Group entity for one of its integrator customers.

The aircraft will be converted into freighter configuration by Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI). GECAS announced the launch of its passenger-to-freighter conversion program at the Paris Air Show in June 2015.

Both aircraft are currently operated by China Southern and will enter the conversion program next year and will redeliver as freighters during 2018. The aircraft will be equipped with a rigid cargo barrier and have 12 main deck pallet positions. The aircraft have a maximum structural payload of 23,500 kg (51,800lb) and a maximum range of over 2,100 nautical miles.

“We are delighted ASL has chosen the 737-800NG freighter for its future air cargo operations” said Richard Greener, SVP and Manager Cargo of GECAS. “The transition into younger more efficient aircraft has started to happen and the 737-800NG freighter is well positioned for both replacement and growth in the narrow body freighter sector.”

“As one of the largest 737 series freighter aircraft providers we are very excited that there is now a “New Generation” narrow body freighter available, which will allow us to continue servicing our existing, and hopefully many new, customers long into the future. In our opinion the 737-800 is going to be a great freighter, building further on the extensive foundations that have been laid by the numerous 737-200, -300 and -400 freighters that are already in service” said Dave Andrew, CEO ASL Airlines (Africa & Asia) and Leasing.

Formed in 2000, GECAS’ Cargo Aircraft Group currently leases over 70 freighters to airline customers worldwide. Its fleet includes the 737, 767, 747 and 777 freighter models. GECAS plans to convert up to 20 of its 737-800NG passenger aircraft to freighters with AEI. The conversions will be performed at authorized AEI Conversion Centers at facilities in the U.S. and Asia.

About ASL (Aircraft, Support & Leasing) Aviation Group: The ASL Aviation Group owns, operates and manages a fleet in excess of 130 jet and turboprop aircraft, providing capacity for up to 200 + passengers and up to 100 tons of cargo. Made up of various main airlines' fleets, the most populous being the popular Boeing 737, the uniquely capable Lockheed L382 Hercules transport and the fuel efficient and environmentally friendly ATR turboprop family. In addition to theB747 and 777 freighters and Airbus A300-600 widebody freighters, all providing cost-effective neutral aviation services solutions.

About Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI): Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) is a global leader in the aircraft passenger-to-freighter conversion business and is the oldest conversion company in existence today. Since the company’s founding in 1958, AEI has developed over 120 Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) and has modified over 400 aircraft with the STCs. AEI helps its customers extend aircraft life and increase the overall value of aircraft assets by continuously focusing on dependable and flexible product offerings. AEI currently offers passenger-to-freighter conversions for the Boeing 737-400, 737-300, and MD-80 aircraft. Additionally, AEI will offer the market its new CRJ 200 freighter conversion in 2016, followed by the Boeing 737-800 full freighter and combi conversions in 2017.

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS): GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing. With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting. GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 1,950 aircraft (~1,700 fixed wing/ ~250 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~400 aircraft. GECAS serves ~ 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 25 offices.

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