AvWeek MRO Event: Kansas Mod lands first 777-300ER P2F order

April 26, 2022, © Leeham News: Kansas Modification Center/NIAR WERX won an order for three conversions from Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft to freighters from Backbone Freighter Leasing, an affiliation of Dr. Peters Group, a European lessor. Backbone also optioned seven conversions.

This is the first order for KMC/NIAR WERX. The deal was announced today at the Aviation Week MRO Americas conference in Dallas. Deliveries are in 2024 and 2025. Options have delivery slots from 2025 through 2027. The airplanes are ex-Emirates Airline aircraft. The first plane entered flight testing for loads analysis Sunday.

KMC forecasts certification by the Federal Aviation Administration in the second quarter of 2024. This conversion features a forward cargo door as opposed to the aft door in conversions offered by IAI Bedek and Mammoth Freighters. IAI has orders for 22 conversions from EVA, Emirates and lessor AerCap (which inherited this deal from GECAS upon acquisition of this lessor). AerCap has options for 15 more conversions, also from GECAS. Entry into service with AerCap is scheduled for this year.

Mammoth has an order for two conversions from Canada’s CargoJet and options for three more. Mammoth says EIS is targeted for the second half of 2023, a timeline some believe is optimistic.

SAS signs predictive maintenance monitoring deal

SAS today signed an agreement in which Airbus, Delta TechOps and GE Digital will provide predictive maintenance systems monitoring for the airline’s fleet and engines.

Airbus and Delta TechOps created the Digital Alliance in 2019. GE Digital joined the alliance in 2021. The Alliance monitors not only Airbus and GE engines and the installed systems, but aircraft and engines of other manufacturers: Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.

SAS expects the Skywise Predictive Maintenance system created by Airbus in 2017 will help reduce dispatch delays due to maintenance issues and create better scheduling reliability. More than 125 airlines subscribe to Skywise, covering about 45% of the Airbus fleets of these customers. About 20%-40% of the Skywise contracts cover non-Airbus aircraft and non-GE engines. The information collected from these aircraft and engines are isolated within Skywise to protect intellectual property.

The contract was signed during Aviation Week’s MRO Americas conference in Dallas.

Airbus tops Qatar in London Court

Airbus won a victory today in a London when a judge rejected a motion by Qatar Airways to force the OEM to honor the order for 50 A321neos. Airbus canceled the contract, using a cross-default provision, when Qatar refused delivery of two A350-1000s. It since refused delivery of a third A350-1000.

The court actions resulted from Qatar grounding more than 20 A350s when paint degraded, and the country’s regulator said safety became an issue when lightning strike mesh was exposed in some areas. Airbus and its controlling regulator, EASA, say no safety is involved. The airline filed a lawsuit in London seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The amount now is more than $1bn, the carrier claims, as the dispute continues. Airbus filed a counter claim to recover cash credits in connection with the A350 and A321 orders. Airbus claims Qatar Airways has surplus capacity that is driving its decision to ground the airplanes.

After Airbus canceled the A321 order, Airways entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Boeing for the 737-10 MAX to substitute for the A321s. The carrier nevertheless sought to maintain the A321 order with Airbus, seeking an injunction to block Airbus from canceling it. The judge denied the request. Hearings on the larger A350 issue continue.


11 Comments on “AvWeek MRO Event: Kansas Mod lands first 777-300ER P2F order

  1. Another reason why Emirates wants to replace its 777 fleet with newer 777X models.
    ‘The airplanes are ex-Emirates Airline aircraft.’

    • “wants to” does not equate to “able to”.
      Emirates also “wanted” a re-engined A380, but it never came…so it’s used to such disappointments.

      • Thats was more the engine makers and plane builders couldnt see a viable future for that sort of upgrade and at a price Emirates would pay
        The 777 is a core part of their fleet and they are getting a re-enginned model.
        These big planes arent so popular at the moment as the passenger market isnt there, but will be in future. No one is losing sleep over delayed production
        There a whole tranche ( 15 I counted them) of 777W that Emirates started flying in 2006 -2007.

        20 years service will certainly mean they are heading to the P2F market. And another 20 that started in service 2009-10 following that

        • “The 777 is a core part of their fleet and they are getting a re-engined model.”

          No…they’ve been *promised* a re-engined model — that’s not the same as actually *getting* it.

          In another post, @Frank told us some shop floor talk about high alpha problems / insufficient tail size, and air intake problems with the engines, particularly on a glide slope. Those problems come on top of the ruptured fuselage issue, and the back-and-forth over derivative / base certification. And all of that for an accounting block of just 350 units, on which a profit will never be made?
          And then we have the recent announcement of a HGW 787 and the talk about a 787 freighter — which, of course, can be seen as moves toward compensating for the lack of a materialized 777X.

          The writing is on the wall.

  2. We chose to place the cargo door aft of the wing on the -200 to preclude proximity of the loading equipment to the nacelle leading edge. A door forward of the wing might work fine for a -300 but requires new rather than existing design.

  3. And to add insult to injury the judge slapped Qatar with 90% of court costs. The message was clear. Yet the biggest loser here is Boeing. We have a major airline going to great lengths trying to force Airbus to deliver them A321XLRs in spite of all that has happened and was said. Emulation is indeed the sincerest form of adulation.

    • They are A321neos in the order

      A321XLR is a different model which has a different price, a much higher GW and other changes
      The A321 neos can be configured with ACT for extra range.
      Qatar have already ordered Max 10 which is same passenger capacity and better range than a standard A321 neo. The runway performance issue doesnt matter for the airport at Doha

      • Ah yes…the MAX-10…another un-certified plane with a big cloud hanging over its future.

  4. The freighter is one thing but I’m focused on the announcement for the Airbus Skywise predictive maintenance digital data platform partnership with GE and Delta Tech Ops. This is huge game changer for airlines monitoring their multiple fleets real time and pays big dividends for on time performance and enhances safety.
    Huge difference from what Boeing offers with their archaic AHM.
    Once again, Airbus leads the way with innovation and critical thinking.

    • Ahhhh Software . Cant go wrong can it ?

      if they think they can cut costs, rely on just in time they are going to have some shocks

      Sounds like ‘Son of Alis’ , Lockheeds masterpiece for the F35

      • Except this is a commercial – commercial proposition, no government buyer, specifier, or anything else. Who knows if it is all pork free, but even if it was a rasher of bacon it wouldn’t be a whole herd of pigs.

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