Asiana Cargo, the cargo arm of South Korea-based Asiana Airlines, signed an agreement to ACMI lease a 747-400F from Atlas Air, one of the airline subsidiaries of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW). Atlas will operate the freighter, beginning this month, on trans-Pacific routes connecting South Korea “with several destinations in the US.”
Commenting on the deal, Atlas said the contract “is initially for one aircraft.” This implies that one or more additional freighters are under consideration… time will tell.
Asiana currently operates ten 747-400 freighters (four production freighters and six -400BDSF conversions) and a single 767-300F. The carrier also has two 747-400 combis, which it is having converted to full BDSF freighter configuration by Bedek Aviation Group. Asiana Cargo was also the subject of fleet upgrade rumors two years ago. Cargo Facts believes the carrier had reached an agreement to order four 747-8Fs from Boeing, but the deal fell apart at the last minute.
Atlas has been much in the news lately for its agreement to lease twenty 767-300Fs to Amazon and then operate them for the e-commerce giant on a CMI basis in the Prime Air network, but ACMI operation of 747 freighters is still the core of the company’s business. AAWW does not publish full details of its ACMI customer agreements, but Cargo Facts’ most recent estimate is that eight of Atlas’ ten 747-8Fs and eleven of its twenty-four 747-400 freighters are in ACMI service, as follows:
- DHL Express: six 747-8Fs and seven 747-400Fs
- Panalpina: one 747-8F
- BST/Navitrans: one 747-8F
- Qantas: two 747-400Fs
- Asiana Airlines: one 747-400F
- Astral Aviation: one 747-400F
If you are interested in learning more about Atlas Air’s view of the trans-Pacific (and other) trade lane, join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April, where Michael Steen, AAWW’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, will speak on a panel devoted to “Challenges and Opportunities in Asia Pacific Air Cargo.” For more information, or to register, go to CargoFactsAsia.com.