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Third-party cargo charter specialist Texel Air today celebrated the delivery of its first Boeing 737-800BCF. The company will become the first Middle Eastern outfit to deploy the model as it looks to ramp up services amid the continued boost in global cargo activity.
Middle Eastern cargo influence
Texel Air ordered two Boeing 737-800BCFs last year. The airline is looking to use the aircraft to help it meet the increased demand that the company is seeing from customers for cargo transport services. The Bahrain-based carrier chose to go for two of these planes based on the positive response that it has received from the segments that it serves and the demonstrated performance and abilities of the model.
The company was founded in 2013 as a subsidiary of Chisholm Enterprises. The cargo and MRO outfit commenced services seven years ago, primarily operating out of Bahrain International Airport. It prides itself on offering third-party cargo charter services with the flexibility and versatility of its Boeing freighter fleet.
Since its founding, Texel Air has expanded its operations from two leased Boeing 737s to a fleet of four modified 737s, including the 737-300 freighter, 737-700 FlexCombi, and 737-800 BCF. During this time, the company gained numerous certifications including third-country operator aircraft maintenance approvals from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Notably, the carrier has become the first airline in the Middle East region to hold the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) in its facilities. It joins a wider community of firms that have placed 190 orders and commitments. The first Boeing 737-800BCF was delivered in April 2018, with launch customer GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and operator West Atlantic the first holders of the model.
A welcome addition
Registration A9C-GWC joins Texel Air after being in Boeing Capital Corporation’s control since last summer. Holding registration 29985, the 20.7-year old was converted after conducting operations with Korean Air Lines since May 2001.
The aircraft was ferried to Bahrain International Airport via Dhaka, Bangladesh from the conversion site at Jinan Airport, China, on December 19th. Texel and Boeing celebrated the delivery today from Bahrain International Airport, showcasing the twinjet to special attendees in person and the worldwide aviation community online.
Bahrain Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Bahrain Airport Company CEO Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah, Boeing VP Commercial Services Sales Anbessie Yitbarek, Chisholm Enterprises Chairman John Chisholm, and Chisholm Enterprises CEO George Chisholm were among the VIPs in attendance of the event.
The platform to expand
Despite the well-balanced fleet, Texel Air is excited about receiving another 737-800BCF this September. Chisholm Enterprises’ founder John Chisholm took a moment to talk about the opportunities to be had with the model.
“The arrival of a second 737-800BCF will enable Texel Air to carry larger cargo volumes and fly to greater distances and destinations such as India, Turkey, and East Africa. The aircraft support our fleet expansion plans. They have the perfect size frame to service the express and e-commerce markets we wish to support,” Chisholm said at the delivery event in Bahrain, attended virtually by Simple Flying.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated, enthusiastic, and passionate staff for their support and commitment to this company. We certainly could not have done this without you.”
Chisholm added that the model will complement the company’s two versatile 737-700 FlexCombis well. Moreover, Bahrain’s geographic position allows the airline to use the strategic location as a regional hub for logistics.
Boeing is just as excited as Texel Air with the delivery. The company highlights that it is continuing to see strong demand for passenger-to-freighter conversions, especially from those with an increasing presence in express and e-commerce industries.
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Major global shipping potential
There has been a considerable boost in freight activity following new consumer habits supported by the E-commerce boom. The critical need for medical supplies also contributed to the rise. The increase is counting into the new year, with IATA reporting that there was a 9.1% increase in air cargo demand in September 2021 and a 9.4 % in October. Looking at the momentum, Boeing anticipates that the world freighter fleet is expected to develop by 60% over the next two decades.
With this heightened activity, Texel will be looking to take advantage of the 737-800BCF’s ability to transport up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lb) and fly up to 2,025 NM (3,750 KM). Boeing notes that the plane is right-sized for the standard-body freighter industry. It has been built with a market-preferred OEM design, offering strong performance with low operating costs.
Altogether, the 737-800BCF is 20% more fuel-efficient than the 737 Classic freighters. It is also supported by Boeing like a new aircraft, giving airlines such as Texel the flexibility and backing needed to meet demand in this next chapter. With the ability to pack in plenty of goods to core markets from Bahrain, Texel will be looking forward to conducting operations with the plane, with it expected to enter service this month.
What are your thoughts about Texel Air’s Boeing 737-800BCF delivery? What do you make of the overall operations of the aircraft in the airline’s fleet? Let us know what you think of the plane and its prospects in the comment section.