The Paris Air Show highlighted a number of aircraft. These included Air Asia’s A330neo, airBaltic’s A220 and a Qatar Airways A350-1000. However, also included were some cargo aircraft. One of these, an eyecatching Amazon Air Boeing 737, previously flew for Jet Airways.
Although liveried as Prime Air, Amazon have recently rebranded their airline services, which are now called Amazon Air. Confusingly, Prime Air is now their drone delivery service. Clearly, this is not a drone!
After collapsing in April, airlines across the world eyed Jet’s fleet of aircraft. Indeed, most of Jet’s aircraft were repossessed and sent out to other airlines. A significant number of the fleet was comprised of Boeing 737 aircraft. Plenty of rival carriers, such as SpiceJet and Vistara, took over these planes and launched their own services to fill the gap left by Jet’s collapse.
Amazon is well known as one of the largest online retailers in the world. However, they’ve recently ventured into the realm of aviation. In some countries, you can even buy a plane ticket on Amazon! When it comes to aviation in the United States, Amazon has something different in mind. Amazon has their own fleet of freighter aircraft that are operated by other carriers.
Live from a Lounge reports that the Prime Air 737 on display at the Paris Air Show previously flew for Jet Airways. The aircraft underwent a Boeing led passenger-to-cargo conversion after being returned to the lessor in December 2018.
The converted freighters are dubbed as 737-800BCF. BCF stands for “Boeing Converted Freighter”. The main portion of these conversions happens in Shanghai, where major modifications are made to the existing aircraft. The aircraft still has some remnants of its passenger life. If you look closely in the picture below, you can see remnants of the windows passengers once looked out of.
Passenger to freighter conversion programs exist for a wide range of aircraft. Some aircraft, including the 747, were designed with passenger-to-freighter conversions in mind. Cargo operators fly some of the oldest aircraft in the world and some of them are converted aircraft.
Why do converted aircraft fly for longer?
First off, cargo aircraft aren’t flying as much as passenger aircraft. While they still fly a fair bit, fewer flights per day mean less wear and tear over time. Second, cargo flights are usually longer. The issue with aircraft is that cabin pressurization takes a toll. Since cargo aircraft are flying further and less than passenger aircraft, they tend to last a little longer.
It is interesting to see the newest development in terms of where Jet’s former fleet is ending up. In all likelihood, more of Jet’s fleet will probably end up being converted to freighter aircraft.
Do you like Amazon Air’s new 737-800BCF? Let us know in the comments