MIAMI – Copa Airlines (CM), Panama’s flag airline operating out of Tocumen Airport (PTY), is entering the cargo market with the freighters aircraft issued from the conversion of existing passenger type.

Copa has conveyed the first of two of its own Boeing 737-800, withdrawn from passenger service in 2020, to the Boeing affiliate company GAMECO-Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company, to be converted into freighters as a BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) type. The aircraft entered the CM fleet in 2003.

GAMECO Facilities in Guangzhou. Photo: GAMECO

GAMECO and Copa

After being converted, the aircraft will carry a maximum payload of 23.8 tons over a maximum range of 2025 nm (3750 km). GAMECO, has celebrated its first door-cutting of a BCF aircraft conversion in June 2016, in partnership with Boeing under a program started in 2019 to take advantage of the growing request for air cargo following the decline of passenger numbers.

Besides converting passenger aircraft to freighters, CM is also modernizing its 62-strong Boeing 737-800 fleet by installing new Collins Aerospace carbon fiber brakes which, according to Collins, will last 35% longer than the traditional ones while allowing better protection against oxidation.

Article sources: Pilootenvligtuig,Cargofacts, and Gameco

Featured image: Copa Airlines Boeing 737-800. Photo: Copa Airlines via Facebook