On May 5, 2021, Boeing announced it would expand to Costa Rica, creating additional capacity for Boeing 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) production line. The plan to establish Latin America’s first 737BCF conversion line was driven by growing demand.
Boeing plans to open two conversion lines of its Boeing 737-800BCF in partnership with Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA). The first of the new 737 freighter conversion lines would open in early 2022, with the second anticipated later that year.
“COOPESA has demonstrated the technical expertise and commitment to quality and execution necessary to help us meet the growing customer demand for the 737-800BCF, including in the Americas,” said Jens Steinhagen, director of Boeing freighter conversions.
Boeing forecasts that 1,500 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years. Nearly 30% of that demand, according to Boeing, would be driven from North and South America.
Currently, Boeing has three Boeing 737-800BCF conversion line sites. All of them are situated in China: Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services (BSAS) in Shanghai; Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) in Guangzhou; and Taikoo Aircraft Engineering (STAECO) in Jinan.
To this day, Boeing has a total of 180 orders for Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft from customers on four continents. In March 2021, Boeing re-delivered the 50th 737-800BCF since entering into service in 2018.