MIAMI – Mexican cargo carrier Aeronaves TSM (VTM) and Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) have confirmed an option placed in November 2020 for the freighter conversion of an additional Boeing 737-400 and have added an option on a third of the type.

In November 2020, Aeronaves TSM and AEI announced the first Boeing 737-400 freighter conversion for the Saltillo-based airline, plus the option made firm yesterday.

According to AEI, the first aircraft to be converted will be MSN 28150 · LN 1773, originally delivered to Qantas (QF) in 1996 and transferred in 2014 to Comair (MN). Conversion works have already started on AEI’s premises in Dothan, Alabama. AEI will convert the second 737-400 in September 2021, and if the additional option becomes firm, the third of the type will undergo conversion in February 2022.

McDonnell Douglas MD-80(SF). Photo: Aeronaves TSM

Type Modifications, Aeronaves TSM Fleet

The AEI Boeing 737-400 cargo conversion program would add a cargo door on the forward left side of the fuselage, and the modification of the main deck to carry up to ten AAA cargo containers or pallets, plus one AEP/AEH type container, able to stand weights of up to 8,000lb (3,630kg).

Aeronaves TSM currently operates 13 McDonnell Douglas MD-80(SF), the world’s largest cargo operator of the type, plus seven Bombardier CRJ-200(SF)s, all of them converted by AEI. It also has a varied fleet comprised of Fairchild Metroliners and McDonnell Douglas DC-9(F)s.

Boeing 737-400 engine. Photo: Davidelit, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons