A new chapter for both passenger and cargo, Shandong Airlines’ first B737-800 freighter delivered
After the delivery of the cargo aircraft, Shandong Airlines will build a passenger and cargo route network with Jinan and Qingdao as its main hub bases, facing Japan and South Korea, and covering Asia.
Shandong Airlines’ first B737-800 freighter entered the Civil Aviation Administration’s official supplementary operation certification stage on August 26, and is expected to be officially put into operation on September 26 after the CAAC’s review and certification.
According to Boeing, the completion and delivery of Shandong Airlines’ first B737-800 freighter marks that Shandong Airlines has become the first large domestic airline to operate this aircraft.
“Bring goods” more and more professional
Compared with the belly cabin of passenger aircraft and temporary passenger-to-cargo transportation, by installing larger main cargo doors and loading and unloading systems on the aircraft, the first B737-800 freighter can not only achieve “larger parts”, but also greatly improve the efficiency of cargo loading and unloading. Better meet customer transportation needs.
The belly space of the passenger aircraft is limited, and only luggage items, parcel items and small batches of goods are allowed to be transported. Larger goods and pallets cannot be loaded. In the modified B737-800 freighter, the main cargo compartment can provide 141.4 cubic meters of cargo space, including twelve cargo pallet positions (11 standard pallets and one half-size pallet), and the two belly cargo compartments can provide 43.7 cubic meters of cargo space. The cubic meter of revenue cargo space, the cargo carrying capacity can reach about 25 tons, which is 6-7 times of the original belly tank transportation.
With the advancement of the all-cargo conversion work, Shandong Airlines will build a passenger and cargo route network with Jinan and Qingdao as its main hub bases, facing Japan and South Korea, and covering Asia. The freighter routes from Qingdao to Osaka and Nagoya will be opened soon, and a number of domestic and international freighter routes will be opened in the future, building an influential backbone aviation logistics network in China, and continuously optimizing the layout of the route network around the national comprehensive three-dimensional transportation network.
Strong power for both passenger and cargo
Affected by the epidemic, the passenger and cargo demand structure of the aviation industry has changed. In order to meet the market demand and the company’s long-term development needs, since April 2020, Shandong Airlines has realized the operation of 11 international “passenger-to-cargo” routes including Qingdao to Seoul. In order to further improve the professional air cargo capacity, Shandong Airlines took advantage of the policy, and acted according to the situation, followed the situation, prudently demonstrated, made bold decisions, and accelerated the implementation of the strategy of developing both passenger and cargo.
At the end of 2021, Shandong Airlines and Boeing signed a freighter conversion agreement. From 2022, they will gradually invest in freighter capacity through the conversion of their own aircraft, and gradually establish a 737-800BCF all-cargo aircraft fleet. After the first freighter is put into operation, Shandong Airlines plans to put the second and third freighters into operation in the first half and second half of 2023, and will form a fleet of at least five freighters by the end of the “14th Five-Year Plan” to give full play to the “14th Five-Year Plan”. The synergistic advantage of “passenger and cargo linkage” has established an air transport capacity foundation for serving the construction of Shandong Demonstration Zone with a strong transportation province and a strong transportation country.
As of the end of 2021, Shandong Airlines has maintained a record of safe flight for 27 consecutive years. It currently has 134 B737 series aircraft in its main transportation business, and operates more than 290 domestic, international and regional routes. It has established Shandong, Chongqing and Xiamen as fulcrums. , covering the airline network of more than 80 large and medium-sized cities across the country, and opening routes to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and international routes such as South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, India, and Singapore. In recent years, Shandong Airlines has insisted on cultivating the main base market in Shandong, based on Jinan and Qinghai, building an international regional hub for Japan and South Korea, and continuously optimizing the layout of the route network around the national comprehensive three-dimensional transportation network. At present, 106 of the 134 aircraft capacity are operating around the Shandong market.
90 days of “Metamorphosis”, “old friends” become “new friends”
The B-5111 aircraft refitted as an all-cargo aircraft this time is the first B737-800 aircraft introduced by Shandong Airlines from the integration of trunk and branch to the gradual inclination of the trunk line. Maintain an excellent safety flight record. Shandong Airlines seized the emerging development opportunities in the air cargo market and converted its own aging passenger aircraft into freighter aircraft, giving it a new mission of air cargo development, and rejuvenating the “old partner” in the late stage of passenger transportation.
Selecting its own aircraft for modification is a positive attempt and exploration by Shandong Airlines to optimize the use value of the B737-800 aircraft throughout its life cycle and to achieve optimal asset allocation. Compared with other aircrafts from external sources, choosing self-owned aircraft with complete maintenance records and familiar maintenance conditions is also conducive to maintaining high maintenance efficiency and can better ensure the safety and normality of flight operations.
The first B737-800 freighter modification work was launched in Taikoo, Shandong on May 31, and took a total of 90 days. The refit mainly includes the installation of larger main cargo doors, a cargo handling system and a rest compartment that can accommodate two non-flying crew members or passengers. Compared with temporary passenger-to-cargo conversion, the technical level, time investment and cost of all-cargo conversion are higher. Shandong Taikoo engineer said that under normal circumstances, 30 people can complete the temporary passenger-to-cargo conversion work within one day, but this time the all-cargo aircraft was refitted by 50 people for 90 days.
Shandong Taigu, the holding company of Shandong Airlines Group, currently has five modern aircraft overhaul hangars, with an office and maintenance area of more than 70,000 square meters. R&D, aviation parts manufacturing, aviation training, etc. Shandong Taikoo is a strategic cooperation unit of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, an important global modification partner of Boeing, a service provider of Boeing 737 series aircraft passenger aircraft to freighter aircraft, and has won awards from manufacturers such as Embraer, Bombardier, and General Engines of the United States. China Service Center is certified and holds aircraft maintenance licenses from more than 20 countries or regions, including China, the United States, the European Union, and Japan. Shandong Taikoo currently has 8 all-cargo conversion lines, including 7 Boeing passenger-to-cargo lines, which has become the world’s largest delivery center for 737-800 passenger-to-cargo aircraft. Since its first foray into the passenger-to-cargo business in 2005, Shandong Taikoo has delivered more than 170 737 traditional and 737-800 freighters to more than 30 indirect or direct users in the industry.