Cargo airline Kalitta Air has signed a leasing agreement with GECAS Cargo for three Boeing 777-300ERSFs. Dubbed as ‘The Big Twin’, this aircraft is set to become the largest ever twin-engine freighter and Kalitta Air will be the launch customer.
In cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), GECAS announced the introduction of the ‘Big Twin’ conversion program. It is jointly funded by the two airlines with GECAS providing and delivering the prototype aircraft, which will undergo conversion this year.
Conrad Kalitta, Owner of Kalitta Air said, “Providing air express delivery all around the world for virtually any type of freight, the addition of these three 777-300ERSF freighters will help us meet the needs of our customers.”
Rich Greener, SVP and Manager Cargo of GECAS said, “We are delighted to continue our 15-year relationship with Kalitta Air and proud they’ve become the launch customer with the 777-300ERSF freighter for its future air cargo operations. The 777-300ERSF shares extensive commonality with the production 777-200LRF. That’s a benefit to any operator looking to bring a new type into their fleet.”
The 777-300ERSF is based on the passenger variant of the type and is expected to offer a 25% capacity increase to the smaller 777-200LRF. With the installed GE90 engines, The Big Twin will achieve up to 21% lower fuel-burn per tonne.
The engines were specifically designed for long-haul operations and the Boeing 777 series, providing up to 115,000 lbs. of thrust. In addition to providing the engines of the aircraft, GECAS will also provide MRO engine and power-by-the-hour services throughout the lifecycle of the freighters.
“GECAS Cargo has developed a new standard for aviation lessors, leveraging our fleet of passenger aircraft to provide freighter conversion feedstock — for this 777-300ERSF program as well as converting 737-800NGs,” Greener concluded. “This approach extends the useful life of our aircraft and GE/CFM engines while meeting the need for replacements of retiring freighters and increased demand for dedicated cargo capacity.”
Kalitta Air is a cargo airline from the United States that started operations in November 2000. Currently, the airline is operating with four 777Fs, 24 747Fs and nine 767BDSFs.