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100 Boeing 737s to get refits in WHDZ

Updated: 2018-05-14

Kunlun Commercial Aircraft Co and HNA Group signed an agreement in Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone (WHDZ), central China’s Hubei province, on May 9, to convert HNA’s fleet of 100 Boeing 737 passenger planes into cargo aircraft in the zone.

According to the agreement, the cargo aircraft will serve the business needs of HNA Group.

The Boeing 737 is manufactured by Boeing in the United States, and is one of the most successful aircraft in the history of civil aviation.

Kunlun Commercial Aircraft has the capacity to convert around 24 of the aircraft into cargo planes each year.

According to experts, an aircraft that is around 20 years old can still be utilized for a further 15-20 years after modification. And converted freighters are favored by firms as they are cheaper than new ones.

In November 2017, WHDZ signed agreements with Kunlun Commercial Aircraft Co and Israel Aerospace Industries to convert Boeing 777 passenger aircraft into cargo aircraft, with investment of over 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion).

The two major projects will be largely reliant on Hannan General Aviation Airport in WHDZ.

In order to meet the take-off and landing needs of Boeing 737 aircraft, the airport plans to expand the runway from 1,600 meters to 2,400 meters. By then, the airport will be Asia's largest general aviation airport.

Peng Hao, chief of WHDZ, said that the zone is working hard to develop the general aviation industry, signing 19 projects in areas including business aircraft manufacturing and aviation logistics, with the aim of developing the zone into a general aviation cluster.

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Representatives from Kunlun Commercial Aircraft Co and HNA Group sign the agreement in Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone, on May 9. [Photo/WeChat account of WHDZ]

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Representatives from companies and Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone hold a meeting, on May 9. [Photo/WeChat account of WHDZ]

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Peng Hao addresses the meeting, on May 9. [Photo/WeChat account of WHDZ]