Hangzhou-based cargo airline, YTO Express Airlines has signed a launch customer agreement with Boeing for the B737-800BCF, World Aviation Resource Net (WARN) reported. The deal was concluded during Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to the Boeing facilities in Seattle as part of his state visit to the U.S.
The report said that Yu Weijiao, president of YTO Express and Stanley A. Deal, senior vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes signed the agreement for the 737-800BCF on behalf of both
The deal means that Boeing can now officially launch the 737-800 passenger to freighter conversion programme, because the plane maker was granted authority from the Boeing Board to offer the PTF conversion in the market on the condition of securing a launch customer. Boeing claims 15 to 20% better operation costs per payload-tonne compared to 737-300 converted freighters.
YTO Express got its AOC only recently
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued an operating license to YTO Express Airlines for scheduled domestic and international air cargo services in August and the carrier, which meanwhile has taken delivery of three Boeing 737-300 freighters, has started operations with the first 737-300 freighter on September 26, while the other two aircraft will be put into operation in November and December respectively.
Backed by 400 million yuan in start-up capital, YTO Express Airlines is owned by the Shanghai YTO Express Investment (Group) Co Ltd (90%) and two individuals.
Nol van Fenema
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