Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Aviation Group has agreed to establish a passenger to freighter conversion site to convert the Boeing 737-700/800 with Atitech company at its MRO centre in Naples, Italy following the rise in demand for cargo aircraft.
The cargo conversion site in Italy will join two existing cargo conversion sites in China.
The MRO centre will supply solutions in maintenance and aircraft renovation, converting passenger aircraft to cargo configuration. In addition, it will provide training and support in licensing and registration.
Executive VP of IAI and general manager of Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed, said: “Establishing the first cargo conversion site in Europe is a historical step for IAI. The company started its path almost 70 years ago as a maintenance house for airplanes, since then IAI has become a world-leading name in converting passenger aircraft to freighters. Today, IAI’s converted freighter aircraft serve the world’s largest cargo companies, and most of the e-commerce market. Atitech MRO was selected as a business partner to provide a solution to the European market among other markets as well. I feel confident the collaboration between these companies will mutually contribute to IAI and Atitech business.”
President of Atitech, Gianni Lettieri added: “By signing this contract with IAI we will restart the high-tech activity done when the North Capodichino Plant, today Atitech, belonged to Aeronavali Venice and specialised in conversion of DC8-DC10-MD10-MD1. I am personally glad to see Atitech expanding its services portfolio with this new very high-tech product, in line with the strategy of the company targeting to make the Italian National MRO (Polo delle Manutenzioni).
“Freighter conversions require huge investment, advanced technology and skilled personnel with high barriers to entry in the sector. Atitech, possessing all the above and the know-how to retrofit Boeing’s passenger aircraft, looks forward to building support and cooperation with IAI. Based on its world-class MRO infrastructure, Atitech will convert in parallel, two aircraft, in a nose to tail lines contributing to strengthening the competitiveness of the Italian aviation industry.”