Aviation manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has agreed with MRO service provider Atitech to open an aircraft conversion site in Italy.

The new site at Atitech’s centre in Naples, Italy, will facilitate the conversion of Boeing 737-700/800 into freighter aircraft.

The centre is being established in response to the increasing demand for cargo aircraft of this model. The site is also expected to increase income from aircraft conversions.

Upon completion, the MRO centre will provide solutions in remodelling passenger planes to cargo aircraft.

It will also offer training and support in licensing and registration.

IAI executive VP general manager Yossi Melamed said: “Today, IAI’s converted freighter aircraft serve the world’s largest cargo companies and most of the e-commerce market.

“Atitech was selected as a business partner to provide a solution to the European market among other markets as well.

“I feel confident the collaboration between these companies will mutually contribute to IAI and Atitech business.”

The new project marks the first cargo conversion site in Europe for IAI. It will complement its two existing cargo conversion sites in China.

Atitech is certified by the US Federal Administration Agency (FAA Part 145) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA Part 145).

Atitech president Gianni Lettieri said: “Freighter conversions require huge investment, advanced technology, and skilled personnel, with high barriers to entry in the sector.

“Based on its world-class MRO infrastructure, Atitech will convert in parallel, two aircraft, in a nose to tail lines contributing to strengthening the competitiveness of the Italian aviation industry.”