Serve Air To Take Its First 737
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Serve Air To Take Its First 737

Sep 26, 2023

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-based Serve Air has ordered its first Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) Boeing 737-800SF freighter conversion.

Miami-based AEI said Aug. 7 it has begun modification of the aircraft, which is scheduled to be redelivered to Serve Air in early November. All conversion-related labor and maintenance is being handled by authorized AEI conversion center Commercial Jet in Dothan, Alabama.

“While the narrowbody conversion market demand from leasing companies has slowed over the last few months, new orders for our 737-800SF freighter coming directly from operators continues to remain strong,” AEI SVP-sales and marketing Robert Convey says. Serve Air is believed to have another 737-800SF, purchased from a Far East operator.

Serve Air is the DRC’s first operator of the 737-800SF and expects to increase its fleet of AEI 737-800SFs to six in the next few years.

The AEI-converted 737-800SF offers a main deck payload of up to 52,700 lb. (23.7 metric tons) and incorporates 11 full-height 88 X 125-in. container positions. The conversion also incorporates new floor beams aft of the wingbox and an 86 X 137-in. main cargo door.

AEI’s design allows containers to be loaded into the aircraft 16.5 in. aft of the forward door jamb, ensuring ground operators have sufficient maneuvering room, which minimizes potential door and aircraft strikes. The AEI 737-800SF also includes an Ancra Cargo Loading System, a rigid 9g barrier, five supernumerary seats as standard, a galley, and full lavatory.

Serve Air was established in 1993 and operates domestic and international charters, using a mixed fleet of 727Fs, 737-300Fs and the 737-800SF.

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.