World’s first 737-800 cargo aircraft unveiled at East Midlands Airport

Photo: Rob Edson/West Atlantic

East Midlands Airport based cargo specialists, West Atlantic, has receive the world’s first 737-800 Boeing Converter Freighter aircraft. Boeing 737-800s are used by many airlines for short-haul passenger flights, but with a new generation of passenger aircraft coming onto the market, Boeing are converting existing 737-800s into cargo carriers. West Atlantic, which transport goods on behalf of Royal Mail and DHL from EMA, are leasing four of the new 737-800s, the other three will be added to the fleet in the coming months.

West Atlantic relocated its UK operation from Coventry Airport to East Midlands Airport in November last year. The express freight company leases 43,151 sq ft of hangar space close to its key customers DHL and the Royal Mail. The new 737-800 BCF will initially operate the twice nightly EMA to Belfast route on behalf of Royal Mail.

Neil Robinson, Corporate and Social Responsibility Director at East Midlands Airport, said: “We’re delighted that West Atlantic is leading the way by leasing Boeing’s new freight aircraft. We work closely with all our airline partners to ensure that everything is being done to minimise the impact of our operations on the local community. While we want to grow the business, and attract more airlines to give a greater choice to passengers and businesses who need goods transporting all over the world, we’re very focused on sustainable growth in line with our commitment to being a good neighbour.”

West Atlantic’s chief executive, Fredrik Groth, commented: “We’re excited to be the first operator of the 737-800BCF. The additional capacity and Next Generation efficiency offered by this new aircraft will deliver real benefits to our customers and we’re delighted to be at the forefront of delivering this new technology. This aircraft, and the additional three being delivered to us within the next 11 months, will be operated for one of the most recognised global integrators within their European Network. With the 800 BCF, we expect to improve reliability, lower aircraft operating costs, and leave a better environmental footprint.”