IAI to establish first passenger-to-freighter conversion site in Europe

The agreement to set up the facility for converting the Boeing 737-700/800 into cargo configuration follows a rise in worldwide demand for freighter aircraft

IAI to establish first passenger-to-freighter conversion site in Europe

A converted B737-800. Photo: IAI

The Aviation Group of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said Monday that it has agreed with Italian company Atitech to establish a site for the conversion of Boeing 737-700/800 aircraft from passenger to freighter configuration, the first facility of its kind in Europe. The agreement to set up the site at Atitech's center in Naples, Italy, follows a rise in worldwide demand for cargo aircraft.  There are also two passenger-to-freighter conversion sites in China.

Atitech is an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company with extensive experience that is certified by the Federal Aviation Agency and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. The MRO center will supply solutions in maintenance and aircraft renovation, converting passenger aircraft to cargo configuration. In addition, it will provide training and support in licensing and registration. The establishment of the center is a testament to IAI's growing impact around the world, the Israeli company said.  

The President of Atitech, Gianni Lettieri said, "By signing this contract with IAI we will restart the high-tech activity done when the North Capodichino Plant, today Atitech, belonged to Aeronavali Venice and specialized in conversion of DC8-DC10-MD10-MD1. I am personally glad to see Atitech expanding its services portfolio with this new very high-tech product, in line with the strategy of the company targeting to make the Italian National MRO (Polo delle Manutenzioni). Freighter conversions require huge investment, advanced technology, and skilled personnel, with high barriers to entry in the sector. Atitech, possessing all the above and the know-how to retrofit Boeing’s passenger aircraft, looks forward to building support and cooperation with IAI. Based on its world-class MRO infrastructure, Atitech will convert in parallel, two aircraft, in a nose to tail lines contributing to strengthening the competitiveness of the Italian aviation industry."

Yossi Melamed, Executive VP of IAI and General Manager of the Aviation Group, said "Establishing the first cargo conversion site in Europe is a historical step for IAI. The company started its path almost 70 years ago as a maintenance house for airplanes, since then IAI has become a world-leading name in converting passenger aircraft to freighters. Today, IAI's converted freighter aircraft serve the world’s largest cargo companies, and most of the e-commerce market. Atitech MRO was selected as a business partner to provide a solution to the European market among other markets as well. I feel confident the collaboration between these companies will mutually contribute to IAI and Atitech business."

IAI's Aviation Group unites under one roof all of the company's operations related to manned aircraft maintenance, business jets, passenger-to-freighter conversions, aviation hangars and other structures, aircraft upgrades, and more. IAI’s clients include some of the largest companies in the global market including Amazon, DHL, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Gulf Stream.

You might be interested also

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in Sochi, 2014. Reuters / Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia-Ukraine War, China and World Peace

With regard to the recent war clashes, President Xi Jinping deems necessary to jointly safeguard world peace and security. Prof. Valori believes that the current Cold War-style mentality can only undermine this. Analysis