Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Marana Aerospace Solutions, Inc. d/b/a Ascent Aviation Services (“Ascent”) have signed a long-term agreement to establish a conversion site and carry out passenger-to-freighter conversions on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Within the framework of the collaboration agreement, IAI plans to have Ascent convert two lines of Boeing B777-300ER aircraft, starting in 2024 in Ascent’s facilities located in Marana, Arizona, USA. To support the program, Ascent will build two new wide-body hangars with pre-construction work having already commenced. Work is expected to be completed on both hangars prior to aircraft induction.
IAI’s Aviation Group recently successfully completed the first test flight of a B777-300ERSF after it underwent passenger-to-cargo conversion, the first of its kind in the world. At the same time, IAI is in the final stages of the certification process with IAI expected to receive the STC from CAAI and FAA within 2023.
Setting up passenger-to-freighter conversion remote sites around the world is required due to the expected demand for wide-body freighter aircraft capable of long-haul flights, such as the B777-300ER, which after conversion will be able to carry payloads of up to 100 tons. According to analysts’ reports, the combination of these capabilities, with the significant fuel savings that the aircraft will permit – will make it one of the most popular freighter aircraft in the world. The 777-300ER will join IAI’s family of converted aircraft, which today includes the Boeing 747, 767 and 737 NG and A330-300 under development.