By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv. “All our conversion lines are fully booked for 2021 which is a peak year in our conversion operations,” Yossi Melamed, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Aviation Group tells Raksha Anirveda in an exclusive interview.
The aviation group of IAI is one of the largest conversion centers of used passenger aircraft to cargo configuration.
According to Melamed currently the work is focused on the conversion of Boeing 737- 700/800 and Boeing 767-300.
Melamed explained that the big demand comes from around the world. “While passenger operations are down, the air cargo business are booming.”
The IAI aviation group has two conversion centers outside Israel- one in China and the other in Mexico. “This was necessary because of the demand for our expertise in the conversion business. The work is performed by local crews under close supervision of our experts.”
He revealed that the aviation group is going to open another foreign conversion center.
Melamed revealed that the group in cooperation with GCAS is working on the design of a Boeing 777-300 conversion “GCAS alone will send us 15 777 for conversion and this is only the beginning. We forecast huge demand for that type of conversion.”
The first Boeing 777 conversion is scheduled for mid-year.”This aircraft will be a hit in the conversion market with work anticipated until 2035.
So far the Aviation Group has converted only Boeing aircraft. Now Melamed revealed there are negotiations with Airbus about a plan to launch a program for the conversion of Airbus A-330.
-The writer is an Israel-based freelance journalist