Manama: Texel Air, an established airline and MRO based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, on Sunday (January 16) celebrated the launch of the latest addition to its fleet and the very first for the region, a 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF).
Present at the launch ceremony were senior government and aviation industry leaders alongside Texel Air management and Board members Including H.E, Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah, CEO Bahrain Airport Company, Anbessie Yitbarek, Boeing Vice President of Commercial Services Sales and Mr John Chisholm, Chairman and Founder Chisholm Enterprises / Texel Air and George Chisholm, CEO of Chisholm Enterprises.
The 737-800BCF is a full freighter aircraft that is highly in demand in the global air cargo market and is the first of its kind in the Middle East with a second of the same aircraft type due to arrive in September 2022.
These new aircraft will enable Texel Air to carry larger cargo volumes, fly greater distances and to new destinations on behalf of its current and future customer base across the Middle East, India, Turkey, East Africa, and other global markets.
This aircraft, registration A9C-GWC (MSN 29985), underwent conversion from passenger to freighter aircraft at a Boeing MRO supplier facility, with further client specific modifications at Texel Air’s hangar facility prior to transferring onto their Bahrain Aircraft Operators Certificate.
Speaking about this significant achievement, H.E Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said “We are pleased to see Bahrain as a launchpad for yet another new aircraft, the first of its kind in the Middle East, which is being operated by a Bahrain registered company, Texel Air. Having welcomed the Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi in August 2020, we are proud to see the strides that Texel Air has been taking, reflecting their commitment to investing in the regional aviation industry’s latest offerings and technologies. We are pleased to see that Bahrain’s regulations and infrastructure have enabled this growth and look forward to further supporting private sector aviation companies’ expansion and innovation.”
Anbessie Yitbarek, Boeing Vice President of Commercial Services Sales said, “We are thrilled to welcome Texel Air to the Boeing Converted Freighter family with the arrival of their first of two market-leading 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters. The 737-800BCF is the right-sized freighter to support Texel Air’s fleet expansion plans, providing the reliability, efficiency and world-class in-service technical support that will help Texel Air capitalise on rapid growth in e-commerce and express cargo demand.”
Commenting, John Chisholm, Chairman for Texel Air’s parent company Chisholm Enterprises, said, “We are very proud to welcome the arrival of the region’s very first Boeing 737-800BCF to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Along with our two versatile B737-700Flex Combi’s that recently joined our fleet, this addition will further boost our capabilities. We look forward to offering greater innovation and more varied cargo solutions to our global customer base.”
Chisholm added, “A9C-GWC is expected to enter into service in mid-January. Our home, the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a strategic location and a regional hub for aviation and logistics. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication’s Civil Aviation Affairs and Bahrain Airport Company for their continued support in providing us with an ecosystem and infrastructure that supports our business development. Appreciation also goes to our employees for their dedication and support to enable our company to continue growing during challenging times.”
Some of the key features of the new aircraft include:
The Boeing Converted Freighter is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 2,025 nautical miles (3,750 kilometers).
The 737-800BCF has 6,546 cubic feet (185.4 cubic meters) of total cargo volume, with 12 positions – 11 standard (88”X125”) positions and one (60.4” X 61.5”) position on the main deck providing 4,993 cubic feet (141.4 cubic meters) and 1,553 cubic feet (44 cubic meters) in the lower hold.
Texel Air’s second 737-800BCF aircraft will be inducted for conversion with Boeing in May 2022 and is expected to enter service in September 2022.