This week we list some of the worldwide cargo aircraft fleet updates. Things developed quite dynamically, as proven in our overview. Interestingly, it’s not only the big players that keep
updating their fleet but particularly some of the less-known brands which prepare for the future.
The Indian government has finally given Jet Airways, the Mumbai-based airline, provisional clearance to wet lease one Airbus A330-200 freighter from its equity partner, Etihad Airways.
The lease is planned to start as of this summer.
Jet Airways will start all cargo operations out of India in a move which is seen to compete head-on with Etihad’s rival Emirates, which operates cargo and passenger flights through India.
The Indian government has so far only agreed to Jet leasing in for an initial six month period. The original application from the Indian carrier was for a period of two years, starting with one aircraft and having two additional A330-200Fs as back up.
The Chinese carrier will take delivery in the near future of its first A300-600F which is presently undergoing conversion from its original passenger configuration with EADS Elbe Flugzeugwerke in Dresden, Germany.
Uni-Top also operates B747-400Fs which they acquired from the defunct Great Wall Airlines.
The converted A300F will be used primarily on routes from Shanghai to Seoul, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Osaka.
A further six passenger A300-600s were bought by Uni-Top in 2013 from China Eastern Airlines and they will also be converted into freighters for use on inner-Asian services.
YTO CARGO AIRLINES
Based in Hangzhou, China, YTO is slated to be the first private cargo carrier in China who will operate international cargo flights.
They are majority owned by the YTO Express Investment Group and have been licensed to operate scheduled domestic and international cargo flights.
The mother company will provide YTO Cargo Airlines with around U.S.$ 63 million in start-up capital.
They have acquired two Boeing 737-300Fs from China’s Donghai Airlines and the first routing will be Shanghai - Seoul - Qingdao - Hong Kong - Shanghai.
Texel is a start-up Bahrain-based carrier who will offer regional and international connections using a fleet of two Boeing 737-300Fs.
The aircraft will mainly be offered in the ACMI and charter market within the region.
The airline which was founded in 2013 received its AOC late last year.
The Korean national carrier will finally take delivery of its first Boeing 747-8 passenger aircraft and will commence operations with this new model in early August with a thrice weekly operation from Seoul to London Heathrow. The service is planned to increase to daily operations as of September.
Korean Air has a total of ten B747-8s on order and these aircraft will allow the Korean carrier extra cargo uplift compared to their present B747-400 fleet which will gradually be phased out with the arrival of a total of ten B747-8 aircraft.
Many of our readers will not have heard of Sanya Airways Corp., which is based in Georgia, USA.
Sanya is to start a weekly freighter service from Atlanta to Liege and then onto Lagos and Windhoek, commencing this summer.
Sanya, which is officially listed as a shipping company in the USA will lease a Boeing 767-300F from Wilmington, Ohio-based ABX Air for this new service.
It is assumed that the flights will be flown and managed by ABX crew and operations staff.
VENSECAR INTERNACIONAL retires last B727 freighter
The Venezuelan cargo carrier, based in Caracas and who operates regional cargo flights on behalf of DHL, has placed its last B727-200F into retirement.
This leaves them with two B737-400Fs, one ATR 42-300F and one B757-200F. These aircraft also operate for DHL.
A further three B757 freighters are said to be joining Vensecar‘s fleet in a deal apparently being aided and financed through DHL’s Panamanian partner, DHL Aero Express.
John Mc Donagh