Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Aviation Group said today it signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), with the Incheon International Airport and Sharp Technics, to establish a Passenger 2 Cargo (P2F) conversion site in South Korea.
The facility will specialize in converting Boeing 777-ERSF ("Big Twin") from passenger to freighter. Within the framework of the agreement, IAI will convert six B777-300ER and B777-200LR per year, starting in 2024. Establishing more P2F aircraft conversion facilities around the world is necessary in order to meet the expected rise in demand for wide-body freighter aircraft with capacity for long flights.
IAI's Aviation Group is working around the clock during this time to prototype the B777 P2F conversion and is expected to conclude the licensing process during 2023. The B777 model represents the next generation of freighter aircraft, and will join the family of IAI's conversions, including: B747, B767, B737NG, and the B737 classic.
President Kim Kyung-wook of Incheon International Airport Corporation said, “By attracting the first overseas production base of IAI's large-sized cargo aircraft to the Incheon Airport MRO cluster, which exclusively possesses the technology for retrofitting Boeing’s large passenger aircraft, we will grow together and contribute greatly to the development of the national and regional economy. Based on the world-class air transportation infrastructure of Incheon International Airport, we will continue to attract world-class aviation MRO companies to Incheon Airport. We plan to contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the Korean aviation industry.”
CEO & President Soon-Suk Paik of Sharp Technics K said, “The conversion of cargo aircraft requires tremendous investment costs, advanced technology, international certifications, and skilled aviation maintenance personnel, which reflect the high barriers to entry in the MRO industry. Although STK is a private company, as a member of the aviation industry, we will do our best in the private sector with the vision of contributing to the development and national interests of the Korean aviation industry."