On Tuesday, Boeing announced it had delivered its 100th 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to AerCap, the leasing company. This aircraft, painted with the yellow livery of Mercado Livre, a Latin American e-commerce giant, will be operated by the Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aéreas. LATAM Cargo Chile has also announced it has become the first worldwide airline certified to carry lithium batteries.
The 100th delivery
Boeing and AerCap today announced the milestone delivery of the 100th contracted 737-800BCF. This aircraft was converted at Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services Co. LTD, home to the first 737-800BCF conversion line.
AerCap Cargo leased the aircraft to GOL Linhas Aéreas as part of the growth strategy and logistics solution of GOLLOG, GOL´s logistics business unit. GOL will operate the freighter for Mercado Livre, a Latin American e-commerce company.
“We are delighted to be a part of this significant milestone with our partners at Boeing,” said Rich Greener, Head of AerCap Cargo. “Since launching the 737-800BCF program with Boeing in 2016, the e-commerce market has grown at a phenomenal rate with increased demand from retail e-commerce businesses. Thanks to its versatility and reliability, the 737-800BCF is becoming the workhorse for express air cargo and e-commerce networks.”
We are thrilled to announce the milestone delivery of the 100th contracted #737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to @AerCapNV—the world’s largest lessor and the launch customer for our 737-800BCF program in 2016.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) September 27, 2022
Last month, GOL and Mercado Livre introduced the first of six Boeing 737-800BCFs expected to be received between 2022 and 2023.
The incoming 737-800BCFs will increase the freighter operation and will reduce by up 80% the delivery times on domestic routes across Brazil, particularly in the North, Northeast, and Midwest regions.
Kate Schaefer, vice president of Boeing’s Commercial Modifications, Engineering & Specialty Products business, added that “across five continents, our customers’ 737-800BCF utilization hours are far surpassing those of the previous generation fleet. It’s a testament to the important role these freighters play in unlocking market opportunities for our air cargo operators and their customers.”
LATAM Cargo Chile – first airline certified in the transportation of lithium batteries
On Tuesday, LATAM Cargo Chile announced it had become the first airline in the world to be certified in the transportation of lithium batteries.
LATAM is the first airline worldwide to receive the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Lithium Battery certification. Andrés Bianchi, CEO of LATAM Cargo said,
“LATAM Cargo continuously evaluates its services and procedures to provide the highest safety standards, which is the main guiding principle for the LATAM Group. We are proud to be the first airline in the world to obtain IATA’s CEIV Lithium Battery certification, which proves our commitment to transporting a critical commodity both safely and reliably. We hope that more players in the industry can become accredited in order to support the safe transportation of a product that is key to air cargo growth.”
Shipments of lithium batteries–either on their own or in finished products–must meet well-established global safety standards for the manufacturing process, testing, packaging, marking, labeling, and documentation. According to the FAA, lithium batteries can catch fire if damaged or if the terminals are short-circuited. Therefore, devices containing lithium metal batteries should be turned off while in checked baggage. Additionally, spare (uninstalled) lithium metal and lithium-ion batteries are prohibited in checked baggage.
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.