Texel Air, a Bahrain headquartered carrier which operates cargo charters throughout the Middle East with two elderly Boeing 737-300F aircraft, has become the launch customer for PEMCO’s B737-700 conversion from passenger to freighter FlexCombi aircraft.
The two present B737s in Texel Air’s fleet also came from PEMCO. These are almost 20 years old and the airline is need of newer aircraft.
The first 737-700 Passenger-to-FlexCombi conversion will be done at PEMCO’s Tampa, Florida facility later this year.
This new conversion will have to be signed off by America’s FAA. This is expected to be completed by the middle of next year. The next step would then be to have this type conversion certified by both the European and Chinese aviation authorities.
The B737-700 conversion programme is interesting in that PEMCO offers the aircraft in three different configurations. Hence the name FlexCombi.
- There is a full freighter version which can carry up to 20 tons of cargo and has eight main-deck pallet positions along with belly capacity.
- Then there is a version which offers capacity for 12 passengers and seven main-deck pallets. The cargo payload of this aircraft is around 17 tons.
- The third version allows carriage of 24 passengers with six main-deck cargo positions and a payload of 15 tons. It looks like PEMCO sees a market, especially in the Middle and Far East, for the FlexCombi version of the 737-700.
It will be interesting to see how this new Boeing 737 FlexCombi production line develops.
John Mc Donagh