Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Lod-based aerospace and aviation manufacturer, announced its plan to establish a Boeing 777 conversion facility in South Korea. 

Expecting an increase in demand for wide-body long-range cargo aircraft, the Israel company decided to build a new facility that will provide Passenger 2 Cargo (P2F) conversion services. IAI plans to specialize in the conversion of passenger Boeing 777-ERSF into freighters. The company has already signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Incheon International Airport (ICN), South Korea, and the South Korean MRO services provider Sharp Technics.

Under the agreement which was signed on May 4, 2021, IAI committed to converting a total of six Boeing B777-300ERs and a single B777-200LR jet each year starting from 2024. While currently the manufacturer is in its initial stages to receive a license for B777 P2F conversion, the company hopes to conclude the licensing process by 2023. 

According to Yossi Melamed, the General Manager of IAI Aviation Group, the company plans on its service expansion in the South Korean market to meet the expected rise in demand for wide-body freighter aircraft with capacity for long flights. 

“Over the past few years, IAI has transferred production of business jet wings, mainframe, and parts of the tail to Korean companies. Melamed was quoted saying in the IAI statement. “I look forward to expanding our strategic cooperation activities with South Korean companies and government authorities.”

The Israel company is already licensed to convert various types of Boeing jets including B747, B767, B737NG, and the B737 classic.