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.
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."
, 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.
"New" F-GISA :
[Edited 2007-07-08 15:34:35]