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Miami
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Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:07 pm

Eastern Airlines has announced that they will begin cargo operations.

Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 Boeing 777s with the first-ever P2F (Passenger to Freighter) conversion. Their plan for the 777 is to be an ‘Express Freighter’ that is is designed to serve in the e-commerce express freight market.

The first 777 is set to be in service by Q1 2022.

According to Eastern, they’ll have the -200, -200ER and -300 variant.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 67118.html

- Miami
 
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Polot
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:10 pm

Sounds like they are just removing seats and loading through passenger door.
 
RoyalBrunei757
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:10 pm

35 B777 Classics, wonder where are they getting them? I guess Air NZ, Delta Air Lines, Emirates?
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:13 pm

Press release: Delusional. Misleading.
 
SRQLOT
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:14 pm

35 Cargo??!!!!?? So they accepted their passenger plans are a failure? Or will they next buy 35 cruise ships??? Do they even know what they are doing?
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:21 pm

Polot wrote:
Sounds like they are just removing seats and loading through passenger door.


And adding some smoke detectors and the ability to turn off air to the compartment and exhaust fumes. Class E really isn't much. There's no extinguishing required. Not gonna be helpful if a lithium battery goes up.

Also gonna be fun to load and unload this beast. Kind of like loading a freighter ship like they did in the 1800s.
 
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GlobalAirways
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:46 pm

Poorly written article...
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:49 pm

I too have acquired 35 777s and am doing the same thing!

They’ll be gone by frame number 6
 
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Miami
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:35 pm

 
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Spacepope
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:35 pm

I'd like to see what they can do with that idea. Like oldschool Airborne Express before they cut cargo doors in their 767s.

If they are successful, that's good news for 772 spare parts providers.
 
Cardude2
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:42 pm

The part I can't get over is why the 200 non-er variant. I know they're cheaper but that's for a good reason, there is almost none left in operation. And similar deal with the 300 non-er. Although this makes me suspect there talking to bankrupt Thai Airways for these aircraft.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:49 pm

Well that would take forever to load and unload by hand.
 
CoThG
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:51 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
Well that would take forever to load and unload by hand.


Can't wait to see them in Prime Air and DHL livery.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:03 pm

So, a 12-aircraft strong airline, with a reborn brand of yesteryears, buy 35 older 777s to do in-house bulk-loading cargo conversion in hopes of competing with well established, fully equipped airlines? Today is September 1st, right? Or is it April 1st?
 
32andBelow
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:22 pm

If you guys haven’t noticed by now eastern is a total joke and never does anything they say
 
alpine1989
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:37 pm

Hmm... It's my understanding the B777-200 pax floor loading weight is very low without costly modification. That's why we haven't seen any 200 conversion to date. So these guys want to compete with FedEx, UPS in DHL in the Express low density parcel business?
 
jbs2886
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:52 pm

The website lists the options:

OPTION 1
Basic conversion of the main deck removing all seats, galleys, toilets
9G cargo and smoke barrier installed creating Class-E Main Deck
Manual loading of cargo through passenger doors
Entry to service Q1 2022


OPTION 2
Installation of cargo loading system on main deck
Bespoke Express ULD’s loaded through existing passenger doors
Entry to service Q2 2022


OPTION 3
Installation of a Main Deck Cargo Door capable of loading standard size Express ULDs
Entry to service 2023

Interesting side note - they do not list their 777s in the list of "Passenger Aircraft"
 
Boof02671
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:34 pm

Miami wrote:
Eastern Airlines has announced that they will begin cargo operations.

Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 Boeing 777s with the first-ever P2F (Passenger to Freighter) conversion. Their plan for the 777 is to be an ‘Express Freighter’ that is is designed to serve in the e-commerce express freight market.

The first 777 is set to be in service by Q1 2022.

According to Eastern, they’ll have the -200, -200ER and -300 variant.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 67118.html

- Miami

There is no STC for a 772 to be converted into cargo and the first 773 STC and conversion is taking place at TLV by IAI and is going to Kalitta.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:42 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
Miami wrote:
Eastern Airlines has announced that they will begin cargo operations.

Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 Boeing 777s with the first-ever P2F (Passenger to Freighter) conversion. Their plan for the 777 is to be an ‘Express Freighter’ that is is designed to serve in the e-commerce express freight market.

The first 777 is set to be in service by Q1 2022.

According to Eastern, they’ll have the -200, -200ER and -300 variant.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 67118.html

- Miami

There is no STC for a 772 to be converted into cargo and the first 773 STC and conversion is taking place at TLV by IAI and is going to Kalitta.

You're talking about "full cargo conversion", i.e. with a strengthen floor and a cargo door cut into the fuselage. It seems Eastern is going the route of loading through the existing passenger doors and using on in-house STC.
 
Cardude2
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:44 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
Miami wrote:
Eastern Airlines has announced that they will begin cargo operations.

Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 Boeing 777s with the first-ever P2F (Passenger to Freighter) conversion. Their plan for the 777 is to be an ‘Express Freighter’ that is is designed to serve in the e-commerce express freight market.

The first 777 is set to be in service by Q1 2022.

According to Eastern, they’ll have the -200, -200ER and -300 variant.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 67118.html

- Miami

There is no STC for a 772 to be converted into cargo and the first 773 STC and conversion is taking place at TLV by IAI and is going to Kalitta.


They say they want to get STC approval in the coming months
 
usairways85
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:56 pm

This seems like another "build it and they will come" strategy that won't work.
 
Yakflyer
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:27 pm

alpine1989 wrote:
Hmm... It's my understanding the B777-200 pax floor loading weight is very low without costly modification. That's why we haven't seen any 200 conversion to date. So these guys want to compete with FedEx, UPS in DHL in the Express low density parcel business?


Low density means bulky items that have relatively low weight. Think flying pillows...the floors will be plenty strong enough for that.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:56 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
So, a 12-aircraft strong airline, with a reborn brand of yesteryears, buy 35 older 777s to do in-house bulk-loading cargo conversion in hopes of competing with well established, fully equipped airlines? Today is September 1st, right? Or is it April 1st?


If I put on my Corporate Communications hat,

Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 B777 aircraft as feedstock

could mean as little as obtained an option to buy.

That's a long way from funding the purchase and funding the cargo coversions, let alone actually having the customers under contract to justify flying 35 freight 777s.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Wed Sep 01, 2021 11:25 pm

Okay, I am starting to hear more and more about this airline. But I can't hardly find anything about them, or who owns them. At least that is the wall I kept running into a few months ago. I saw one of their planes at LAX and was intrigued.

So, I guess my question is. Where are they getting the funds to operate and grow? Apparently at this time they have 12 aircraft? Sounds like they have a fairly good financial backing. I'm gonna go and search Google again on them.
 
UA444
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:49 am

I mean, if they get the 772 STC going, I wish them all the success in the world. Would love to see more cargo options.
 
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RWA380
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:48 am

Honestly, if it were almost any other year, I'd be skeptical. But cargo is expected to remain king for the next little while. I have figured they jumped on those old frames for long flights, with very profitable goods, including medical & food supplies, in many directions. Maybe Eastern does good on the cargo, which allows the mediocre passenger flights, become more relevant.
 
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Miami
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:00 am

Just got word that they will be receiving two 777-300ERs.
 
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N62NA
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:52 am

I'm excited to see these in Miami. Hope that they can follow through on the plan.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:42 am

Spacepope wrote:
I'd like to see what they can do with that idea. Like oldschool Airborne Express before they cut cargo doors in their 767s.


Airborne used special containers. These things are going to have, apparently, nets in various locations to hold stacks of stuff in place, like the CRJ "conversion" without a cargo door.

They are talking about custom containers and a floor system in Option 2. But custom containers don't overcome the floor loading issue.

My prediction: goatrope. In the end, they will sell them to someone who wants to run them through the IAI conversion.
Last edited by wjcandee on Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:45 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
[Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 B777 aircraft as feedstock

could mean as little as obtained an option to buy.

That's a long way from funding the purchase and funding the cargo coversions, let alone actually having the customers under contract to justify flying 35 freight 777s.


Ten-thousand-percent correct. It may not be stupid from a leasing company perspective to take options on retired 777s for conversion, because I think the Big Twin is going to be a huge success. However, the idea that a bulk-loaded 777 makes any sense is hilarious.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:57 am

It will take Eastern a lot longer than a year or so to develop the engineering and obtain an STC to cut a cargo door and carry standard containers filled with anything but feathers. IAI has been doing conversions for literally decades, has extraordinary engineering depth and tribal knowledge, and has GECAS backing it on the Big Twin. That allowed them to fun flat-out on their engineering work from Day 1. With all that, the testing and engineering has taken more than 2 years so far, and they haven't even cut the first cargo door, to my knowledge. They are optimistically estimating getting a prototype certified and in service in about another year. So realistically but optimistically figure early 2023. The TLV shop will have the first 777 lines to get up and running, hopefully around then. The new IAI/Sharp Techniks Big Twin conversion line at ICN won't come on line until 2024.

Reason: they're trying to build a plane that will actually carry stuff. You know, the way other freighters do. They have to reverse-engineer everything, strengthen a bunch of stuff, including the floor, which is no small feat, prove the handling and safety of the modified airframe, and on and on.

This Eastern thing feels like someone going to a foreign country for a cheap butt implant, with predictably-disfiguring results, and once these frames are carved up into feather-carriers under Option 2 or 3, their utility as anything else is severely-compromised. I expect that the real goal here is to corner the market on the airframes in the short term, and make money selling them off to be converted under a real STC.
Last edited by wjcandee on Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:04 am

Boof02671 wrote:
There is no STC for a 772 to be converted into cargo and the first 773 STC and conversion is taking place at TLV by IAI and is going to Kalitta.


You are absolutely-correct.

It does look like IAI is planning on doing 772s as well in the future, if there is demand for them. This came up when they announced the Sharp Techniks line at ICN. But I think that's going to be an also-ran.
 
Boof02671
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:12 am

wjcandee wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
There is no STC for a 772 to be converted into cargo and the first 773 STC and conversion is taking place at TLV by IAI and is going to Kalitta.


You are absolutely-correct.

It does look like IAI is planning on doing 772s as well in the future, if there is demand for them. This came up when they announced the Sharp Techniks line at ICN. But I think that's going to be an also-ran.

Here is a press release from IAI snd if you scroll down there is a video of work being done.

https://www.iai.co.il/iai-and-gecas-beg ... conversion
 
FGITD
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:24 am

wjcandee wrote:

Airborne used special containers. These things are going to have, apparently, nets in various locations to hold stacks of stuff in place, like the CRJ "conversion" without a cargo door.

They are talking about custom containers and a floor system in Option 2. But custom containers don't overcome the floor loading issue.

My prediction: goatrope. In the end, they will sell them to someone who wants to run them through the IAI conversion.


The bulk load conversion has to be one of the dumbest ideas I’ve read in awhile. I had the “pleasure” of working on a few of the semi converted pax freighters, and there’s a good reason it took a global pandemic and aviation grinding to a halt for that idea to make sense. Very labor intensive, time consuming, and just overall a pain to deal with. Even with pre-position nets, it’s nonsense. But hey, why do with 5 guys and a loader what you could do with 12 guys and a bunch of belts/lift trucks?

Likewise with the custom conversion. Now you need your own conversion, your own containers, GSE, etc. and good luck selling or moving those frames/equipment on to other carriers in the future.

There’s a pretty simple reason why everything has become so standardized across the industry.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:30 am

Boof02671 wrote:
Here is a press release from IAI snd if you scroll down there is a video of work being done.

https://www.iai.co.il/iai-and-gecas-beg ... conversion


Thanks! That's a nice video. Among other things, it shows how much has to be done before they start reinforcing stuff and cutting metal, and how everything has to be instrumented and documented.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:36 am

FGITD wrote:
Likewise with the custom conversion. Now you need your own conversion, your own containers, GSE, etc. and good luck selling or moving those frames/equipment on to other carriers in the future.


Exactly. That's a good point: you need specialized loading equipment at every station, not to mention the capital investment in unique containers. So you can only use the equipment on specific lanes. And of course the fact that one you have modified the aircraft one way, it's gonna be disfigured for modification into something else. The Airborne Express system worked because they had north of 100 aircraft and used the "C" containers throughout their extensive network.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:22 pm

Eastern are to acquire 35 777s for conversion. First for delivery next year suggests conversion under way on one at least.

"In a statement, the passenger carrier said it has acquired thirty-five B777s which it will convert into true, Class-E maindeck freighters that will be capable of carrying a full load of volumetric express cargo non-stop between Asia and the United States."

Intriguing reference to 772 as well as 77Ws:

"The innovative design converts the main deck cabin of the widebody B777, the -200, -200ER, and -300 series into a true cargo aircraft. This allows the entire volume of the main deck cabin to hold low-density, express freight cargo."

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news ... -p2f-b777s
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:52 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
Eastern are to acquire 35 777s for conversion. First for delivery next year suggests conversion under way on one at least.

"In a statement, the passenger carrier said it has acquired thirty-five B777s which it will convert into true, Class-E maindeck freighters that will be capable of carrying a full load of volumetric express cargo non-stop between Asia and the United States."

Intriguing reference to 772 as well as 77Ws:

"The innovative design converts the main deck cabin of the widebody B777, the -200, -200ER, and -300 series into a true cargo aircraft. This allows the entire volume of the main deck cabin to hold low-density, express freight cargo."

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news ... -p2f-b777s


I don’t see a single mention of the 77W in that press release. In fact it’s absence is noteworthy.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:04 pm

I took the reference to "-300 series" to mean 77Ws
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:07 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
I took the reference to "-300 series" to mean 77Ws


I think that is likely incorrect.

They went through effort to differentiate between 777-200 and 777-200ER in the same sentence. The -300s won't be -ERs.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:22 pm

That suggests much cheaper feedstock, but at the same time a shorter lifespan.

As the first frame is due for delivery in Q1/22 it should now or soon be under conversion - we should know the underlying frame type soon.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:35 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
That suggests much cheaper feedstock, but at the same time a shorter lifespan.

As the first frame is due for delivery in Q1/22 it should now or soon be under conversion - we should know the underlying frame type soon.


As reported in the SoCal Boneyard thread, the first frame is headed to MCI for conversion work right around today. It's a -200ER, N822KW.

Eastern is an operation where taking on a 77W is much too rich for their blood. Combine that with ATSG claiming that their 767s, which many have over 110,000 hours on them at time of conversion, will still have a 20 year service life, then there is no issue with the non-ER -300s and service life (if this entire project actually takes off, which is doubtful beyond the first 2-3 frames).
 
ContinentalEWR
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:52 pm

Eastern's future, if it truly has one, sounds like it rests as a cargo hauler and charter airline, not a scheduled passenger service and market disruptor. There just isn't enough demand all around for that in the current environment.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:35 pm

If they have acquired some 35 777s - and not just optioned them - there will very soon be some registrations, right? Let's see what (777/ER/773/77W), where, and new tail numbers.
 
CoThG
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:39 pm

wjcandee wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
I'd like to see what they can do with that idea. Like oldschool Airborne Express before they cut cargo doors in their 767s.


Airborne used special containers. These things are going to have, apparently, nets in various locations to hold stacks of stuff in place, like the CRJ "conversion" without a cargo door.

They are talking about custom containers and a floor system in Option 2. But custom containers don't overcome the floor loading issue.

My prediction: goatrope. In the end, they will sell them to someone who wants to run them through the IAI conversion.


Airborne used hampers before the "C" container system.
 
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DL757NYC
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:02 pm

wjcandee wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
[Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 B777 aircraft as feedstock

could mean as little as obtained an option to buy.

That's a long way from funding the purchase and funding the cargo coversions, let alone actually having the customers under contract to justify flying 35 freight 777s.


Ten-thousand-percent correct. It may not be stupid from a leasing company perspective to take options on retired 777s for conversion, because I think the Big Twin is going to be a huge success. However, the idea that a bulk-loaded 777 makes any sense is hilarious.



There has to be a freight door installed off loading freight through a passenger door would take hours.and lots of man power.
 
n757kw
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:26 pm

My carrier does bulk load on the B777-300ER. Pallets and containers on the lower deck. The passenger cabin comes in two versions, no seats and seats. The no seats version, the freight is netted to the cabin floor and boxes in the overhead. The seats version, boxes are in the seats with a wrap system to contain the cargo and boxes in the overhead. Takes 2-4 hours to offload. On our flights it is bulk loaded to the US. The return is just pallets and containers in the lower deck, nothing in the cabin. Have 2 crew members as fire marshals.

N757KW
 
FGITD
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:55 pm

n757kw wrote:
My carrier does bulk load on the B777-300ER. Pallets and containers on the lower deck. The passenger cabin comes in two versions, no seats and seats. The no seats version, the freight is netted to the cabin floor and boxes in the overhead. The seats version, boxes are in the seats with a wrap system to contain the cargo and boxes in the overhead. Takes 2-4 hours to offload. On our flights it is bulk loaded to the US. The return is just pallets and containers in the lower deck, nothing in the cabin. Have 2 crew members as fire marshals.

N757KW


It’s just overall an inefficient way to do things. That 2-4 hour offload is the killer. In that 2 hours a halfway decent load team could put more into a 777F than a bigger team could bulk load on a 77w.

I fail to see the point of this whole venture. Cargo operations across the board still have some areas that could be greatly improved, but container/palletization is not one. There’s a reason every single wide body in production adheres to pretty much the same specs
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:04 pm

DL757NYC wrote:
wjcandee wrote:
[T]he idea that a bulk-loaded 777 makes any sense is hilarious.



There has to be a freight door installed off loading freight through a passenger door would take hours.and lots of man power.


Exactamente. And yet Eastern's proposed STC, for what they think they'll have by early next year, involves no cargo door. Indeed, only the potential years-away "option" does.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Eastern Airlines launches Eastern Air Cargo

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:15 pm

FGITD wrote:
I fail to see the point of this whole venture. Cargo operations across the board still have some areas that could be greatly improved, but container/palletization is not one


Completely-agree. I think:
(1) As with many of the ventures that Eastern announces -- they want publicity;
(2) They may be gambling on the incredible shortage of equipment in all areas of the supply chain (i.e. water, air, rail, road) as Peak approaches. The idea being that they can maybe field a sub-optimal solution to capitalize on the insane rates that people are now paying and are expected to pay just to get product where it needs to go over the next 6-9 months, and maybe longer. They're betting on the "maybe longer", because they're not gonna be in the market until next year, and so will miss this Peak. The theory, I guess, is that it doesn't matter if it's inefficient if the service can be sold at a profitable price in a time of shortage, inefficiency nothwithstanding, than it's worth doing if the capital investment doesn't eat the profit.

But to broach this as a long-term, 35-plane venture: hahahahahaha. Like I said above, they can announce, test the market, maybe get some takers for the short-term solution. As the market responds back to equilibrium with better solutions and adaptations, any butchering of these aircraft will make it difficult to then put them in the Big Twin conversion line at IAI, which is why I think what they're really going to do is to tie up the frames under option, maybe strip the seats in less than 5 to fit them into Option 1 (just basically interior alteration), and then when they're no longer in demand for this Kluged solution and instead ready for a real conversion, they, and the untouched ones, can be used for that. If they start mucking with them structurally, they're going to be at the end of the line for that more-profitable use in the future.

Again, these things need significant structural alteration to put more than boxes of feathers on the floor, which is why the IAI conversion is already 2 years into engineering and only now starting actual work on the prototype aircraft, despite financial backing from GECAS and aggressive work by IAI's engineers.

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