Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced late December that it had delivered the first CRJ200 Special Freighter (CRJ200SF) aircraft to Gulf & Caribbean Cargo. Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI), converted the passenger jet to a freighter configuration, allowing for up to 6.7 tonnes of payload on the main deck and eight 61.5” X 88” pallet positions.
With older CRJ100 and -200 jets being jettisoned by regional carriers in favor of larger aircraft, modified versions are finding homes in secondary markets. “We are continuing to see growing interest in these pre-owned aircraft from both traditional and emerging sectors of the industry,” said David Speirs, vice president of asset management for Bombardier. “The CRJ100 and -200 operator base has grown by about 120 percent over the past eight or nine years, a strong indication of the aircraft’s continuing strength, versatility and appeal.”
Robert Convey, vice president of sales and marketing at AEI, said that his employer had received commitments for 45 aircraft conversions, “and we fully expect to convert over 100 aircraft over the life of the program.” He predicted that “most CRJ100SF and CRJ200SF aircraft will be operated on longer-range regional services with thin demand that require the speed of a jet but can’t support larger narrow-body freighters.”...
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