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Doorway to riches

01 October 2005

Converted passenger aircraft are becoming more popular with financiers to help bolster residual values. Geoff Hearn reports.

Read more: Boeing Airbus ATA Airlines airline conversions

Converted aircraft will make up three-quarters of the freighter fleet over the next 20 years - well at least according to Boeing's cargo forecast, and it should know. Ageing Boeing aircraft are being converted at an ever-increasing rate and the US manufacturer is dominating the cargo market.

In the larger freighter market, the new A380 Freighter and the 747 Advanced Freighter (when launched) will form a significant part of the market, as will the custom-built 777 Freighter. But in the small- to mid-sized freighter sector, converted aircraft dominate.

Boeing is eager to maintain its dominance, and has programmes and partners in place to offer conversions on a wide range of its aircraft (see table).

Boeing's commitment to conversions is exemplified by the rebranding of the 747-400 Special Freighter to the 747BCF, the Boeing Converted Freighter. Many operators and owners are more comfortable choosing programmes that are controlled by the manufacturer, but...

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