The Russia airline S7 is all set to launch its new cargo operation this November with a pair of Boeing 737-800 converted cargo aircraft on lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
S7’s air freight program currently utilizes belly capacity on passenger planes and these narrowbody freighters will mark the inauguration of dedicated air freighters for the Russian-based operator.
GECAS, has been Boeing’s launch customer for the 737-800BCF - BCF stands for Boeing Converted Freighter and while extending the useful life of the passenger 737-800NG, the 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) – and has longer range – 2,000 nmi (3,750 km) than other standard-body freighters. The 737-800BCF freighter also offers operators newer technology, lower fuel consumption and better reliability than some other standard-body freighters. GRCAS expects the freighters to be delivered in November 2020 and January 2021 and the aircraft will fly medium and short-haul routes for S7.
“We are delighted to support S7 Airlines in the launch of their new dedicated cargo programme,” said Richard Greener, SVP and Manager of GECAS Cargo. “The 737-800NG freighter is renowned for its efficiency and reliability, as well as its lower operational costs and better environmental credentials, making it a strong addition to a combination carrier entering the cargo market.”
“The delivery of our first freighters is a significant milestone in S7 Airlines’ cargo operations. The additional capacity will be used on routes with strong demand and limited capacity of baggage compartments of passenger aircraft. S7 Airlines’ wide route map, our partnership with leading logistics companies and well-developed agent network enable us to carry payload and mail in relatively short time and provide efficient aircraft lading. Thanks to the new freighters, we expect to increase total volume of carried payload and mail by 30%”, said Ilya Yaroslavtsev, CEO of S7 Cargo.
According to Russian Aviation Insider, S7 transported 28,300 tonnes of cargo in the first half of 2020, up more than 70% on 2019's figures. The demand is set to increase in a post COVID marketplace and with the downturn in passenger traffic, there is also a comparative drop in the cargo capacity as the passenger aircraft are grounded, or operate limited schedules.