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            september 17, 2019

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Atlas Air orders 9 Boeing 767 conversions to service Amazon


Atlas Air has approached Boeing to convert nine used B767 passenger aircraft into freighters to form part of the 20-jet 'Prime Air" fleet that the cargo airline will fly for Amazon.
To effect quicker delivery the US aircraft manufacturer may open a new B767 freighter-conversion line at joint venture aircraft-modification facility in China or Taiwan, reported The Seattle Times.
Atlas started leasing and flying its first B767 for Amazon in August, according to the airline spokeswoman Bonnie Rodney.
"The remaining 19 aircraft that we will lease to and operate for Amazon are expected to enter service through 2018," she was quoted as saying.
Ms Rodney said Atlas has acquired "the vast majority" of the 20 used passenger aircraft it will need for the Amazon contract and has secured all of the necessary slots at freighter-conversion facilities, including the nine just announced with Boeing.
Boeing currently completes all its passenger-to-freighter-jet conversions at a facility in Singapore, at a joint venture with aircraft-maintenance firm ST Aero.
However, demand for B767 freighter conversions - not only from Amazon but also from express package carriers such as FedEx, UPS and Germany's DHL for operation in the US and in Asia - is high enough that Boeing has been studying whether to open a second conversion line.
A senior air cargo executive, who asked not to be identified because of continuing business with Boeing, said the jet maker is far along in an approval process to open a second 767 conversion line, either at its maintenance joint venture with China Eastern Airlines in Shanghai or at Evergreen Aviation Technologies in Taipei, Taiwan - with the latter now favoured.

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