(Wellington, Fla., December 23, 2008) -- B/E Aerospace, Inc. (Nasdaq:BEAV), the world's leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and the world's leading distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables, announced today that it has received a supplemental type certificate (STC) from the FAA which authorizes the company to convert Airbus A300-600 passenger aircraft to freighters. The STC was awarded to B/E Aerospace's Flight Structures unit (FSI).
The company previously announced that it had been awarded a contract by China Southern Airlines to convert six of its A300-600 passenger aircraft to freighters. B/E Aerospace expects the six aircraft program for China Southern Airlines to have a value of approximately $45 million.
B/E Aerospace has been responsible for the engineering design and STC certification of the Airbus A300-600 passenger-to-freighter conversion and will be responsible for manufacturing the required passenger-to-freighter conversion kits. B/E Aerospace's MRO partner, Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company (GAMECO), a Guangzhou-based joint venture of China Southern Airlines and Hutchinson Whampoa (China) Ltd., will provide the touch labor and kit installation.
"The A300-600 STC marks a significant milestone in our passenger-to-freighter conversion business. We look forward to working with our launch customer China Southern Airlines," stated Mr. Amin J. Khoury, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of B/E Aerospace, Inc.
"The A300-600 aircraft is an excellent candidate for passenger-to-freighter conversion due to its superior operating economics. According to Air Cargo Management Group, 'the medium wide-body freighter segment, (the A300 and the B767), has been the fastest growing segment of the freighter market over the past decade." The A300-600 takes standard size containers and can carry almost double the LD3 containers that the competing B767 can carry. There are more than 100 A300-600 passenger aircraft in service, most of which are nearing the end of their useful lives as passenger aircraft," concluded Mr. Khoury.
Mr. Dong Su Guang, Vice President of China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd. and Chairman of GAMECO commented, "China Southern Airlines, GAMECO and B/E Aerospace working together have demonstrated a world class capability in achieving this milestone. We look forward to continuing our partnership as we convert our A300-600 passenger aircraft to freighters."
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