FlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7458 posts, RR: 56 Posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6052 times:
In May 2005, Boeing and Air France have signed an agreement to convert three Boeing 747-400 airplanes into freighters as part of the Boeing 747-400 Special Freighter program.
Boeing originally delivered the three airplanes as Combi models. The airline later converted the airplanes to full passenger configuration.
F-GISA is the first Air France B744 to be converted into a freighter and is now back in service.
Air France's first redelivery is the 14th for the program since the first 747-400BCF redelivery went to Cathay Pacific in December 2005, and it is the first combi-to-freighter conversion for the program.
"This 747-400BCF and the two that will follow add critical lift capacity to Air France. These three aircraft will help us to accelerate the replacement of our ageing 747-200Fs and are the perfect interim solution while we wait for the entry in service of the 777F aircraft." said Pierre Vellay, senior vice president of New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning for Air France. "In addition, the fact that it is a Boeing conversion gives us confidence that we'll have the support we need."
F-GISB, The second of the three 747-400s to be converted was inducted in May and is scheduled for redelivery in August, while the conversion of third one, F-GISE is scheduled for the end of this year.
After the conversion of those 3 aircraft, Air France's fleet of B744 PAX will be downsized to 13 aircraft, including 3 ex-Combi a/c : F-GISC, F-GISD, F-GEXB (ex-UTA plane)
The 5 remaining B747-200F in service are expected to be retired from service by the end of this year. An order for 5 additional B777LRF was placed recently by AF, along with 13 more B773ER to replace before 2010 the remaining 13 B744 PAX.
FlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7458 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5586 times:
Actually, the retirement of the B742F is accelerated as they are getting old and have more and more technical problems.
The results of AF Cargo were affected last year by those problems who impacted its reliability.
KL911 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2003, 5422 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5200 times:
Quoting Columba (Reply 1): Looks like AF Cargo is really growing I hope LH Cargo would follow and placec an order for 747-8Fs or 777Fs.
They will likely convert some 747-430s to 747-430BCFs by 2010.
By that time the economy is rocking that high that the only suitable freighter will be the A380F. And even that one will proof to be to small when we reach 7 billion persons on this planet.
I don't believe in smaller freighters for the future, the A350 and B787 won't play any role in the future freighter market. Not to mention that most cargo centers like AMS and LHR are severly slot restricted. 747's will proof to be to old and to small by that time. Maintenance costs will just be too high. A good example is Ryanair, getting rid of 5 year old 738's and replacing them with new ones. reliability is becoming very important for customers.