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June 17, 2024
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Logistics company DHL Express has ordered nine Boeing 777-200LR converted freighters from Jetran. The aircraft will be delivered from 2024 through 2027 and will replace older Boeing 747-400s that DHL is hiring from other companies, including Kalitta. In between the lines, DHL makes it clear that it is considering acquiring the latest generation freighters… DHL Express orders converted 777-200LRs as a stop-gap for the future.

The 777-200LRs will be converted by Mammoth Freighters, the Orlando-based company that was founded in 2020 and is specialized in 777-200LR and -300ER conversions into their own -MF specification. The Triple Seven conversion program was officially launched in September 2021. The aircraft needs a Supplemental Type Certificate, but this process should be completed this year.

Mammoth itself owns ten ex-Delta Air Lines -200LR that will be converted. CargoJet was announced as the launch customer for the -200LR with a firm order for two aircraft in November 2021, plus two options as well as two options for the -300ER. Last October, AviaAM Leasing signed for six -300ER conversions. This brought firm orders to 29. Conversions will be done on Mammoth’s seven lines, including one in Fort Worth (Texas).

The 777-200LRMFs will have a maximum gross payload capacity of 106 tonnes and a range of 9.075 kilometers. The -300ERMF comes with a gross payload of 99.8 tonnes and a range of 8.890 kilometers. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) recently made its maiden flight with the first converted 777-300ER program that it runs together with AerCap. IAI works together with other conversion specialists like Sharp Technics in South Korea and Etihad Engineering in Abu Dhabi.

Sustainability priority

DHL already operates eighteen factory-built 777Fs that are based on the -200LR and has another ten on order for delivery through 2025. The company has selected the 777 as the backbone of its long-haul, big-size freighter operations. The type is outnumbered by 53 767-300Fs, 35 757-200s, five Airbus A330-200Fs and eleven -300Fs.

In the press statement, DHL says that “this agreement is part of the overall sustainability priority to modernize DHL Express’ long-haul intercontinental fleet, including the replacement of older planes. Ordering converted freighters with a shorter useful life provides an efficient bridge between current and new airframe technologies, such as new generation wide-body freighters B777-8F and A350F.

So far, DHL Express has not announced orders for the new freighters from Boeing and Airbus, although both airframers have orders from undisclosed customers in their backlog for the 777X (which may include the passenger version) and the A350F (four were added in March).

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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