Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but GECAS said the planes will be delivered to Kalitta in 2023.
The 777-300ERSF, called the “Big Twin,” will be the largest twin-engine aircraft conversion to cargo service and is viewed as an excellent replacement for the aging four-engine 747 freighters.
GECAS delivered its first 777 passenger plane to Israel Aerospace Industries for conversion to freighter service in June. Converting the 2005-built aircraft to a freighter will require extensive work, including the addition of a main deck cargo door, window plugs, modified crew compartment and a reinforced fuselage.
The company says the freighter will burn 21% less fuel per ton than the larger 747-400 freighters and offer 25% more cargo volume than the 777-200 freighters. The plane’s flight range capability is expected to supersede the remaining 747-400 and MD11 freighters in service.
Kalitta Air started operations in 2000 with three 747 cargo planes and now has four 777s, 24 747-400s and nine 767-300s in its fleet.