In mid-2017, Hangzhou-based YTO Airlines announced it would add its first 757-200PCF to its fleet before the year’s end. Although some were doubtful of the redelivery timeline, the aircraft (29217, ex-China Southern) was inducted for conversion by Precision Aircraft Solutions at the HAECO facility in Xiamen in 4Q17, and was redelivered during the last week of December. The aircraft was also seen sporting a new YTO Airlines livery that Cargo Facts believes will be the trend for all future YTO aircraft deliveries.
For YTO, the 757 is the first of at least two more conversions on order with Precision. The second aircraft (32341, ex-China Southern) is believed to have already been inducted for conversion at HAECO’s Xiamen facility. As for the third aircraft, bidding for the soon-to-retire 757s in the fleets of Xiamen and China Southern Airlines has been intense among China’s express carriers. Still, YTO’s third 757 is likely to come out of the fleets of a China-based carrier, and Cargo Facts believes YTO may have secured up to five 757s from China Southern.
But with just a few 757s remaining in the fleets of Chinese airlines, express carriers will soon be looking beyond China for feedstock. In the past, importing used aircraft into China for conversion was considered to be nearly impossible. Recently however, SF Airlines secured a number of ex-American Airlines 757s, the first of which (29423) has already been inducted for freighter conversion by Precision, at the Flightstar facility in Jacksonville. YTO Airlines, and other carriers will be closely monitoring the import and AOC certification process by the CAAC. If all goes well, YTO is expected to move forward with orders for up to nine additional 757 conversions.
By 2020, YTO has said it expects to have a fifty-unit-strong fleet of freighters. According to our math based on announced and suspected orders, within three years, YTO’s 38-48 unit freighter fleet will be comprised of roughly:
- Fourteen 737-300Fs
- Ten 737-800BCFs (and up to ten more)
- Fourteen (more or less) 757-200PCFs
Separately, YTO Airlines’ parent company, YTO Express has inked an agreement with the Changsha Municipal Government in Hunan province to develop a base at Changsha Huangsha Airport. Construction of the facility will begin in Q218, and is expected to be completed in October 2019. The local government office says the new facility and office complex will serve as YTO’s regional office in Central China, and will leverage multi-modal air, rail and overland facilities to support the company’s parcel delivery operations. YTO Airlines does not currently serve Changsha, but flights are expected as YTO takes redelivery of additional freighters.
Those interested in the latest on YTO Airlines are invited to join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2018. The event will be held 23-25 April 2018 at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. For more information, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com.