Note: SF Express has now (19 October 2014) confirmed to Cargo Facts that it has indeed ordered 767-300 P-to-F conversions from Boeing
At the Cargo Facts Asia event in Hong Kong in 2012, George Li Dongqi, VP of Shenzhen-based SF Express, announced the company’s intention to add widebody freighters to the fleet of its air arm, SF Airlines, “by 2014.” With just two-and-a-half months left in 2014, it looks like Mr. Li may miss his target date – but not by much.
SF has begun formally advertising for 767 pilots, and if rumors Cargo Facts is hearing are true, the company either has signed, or is close to signing, an order for as many as six 767-300BCF passenger-to-freighter conversions. We have also been told that, as part of the same deal, SF will acquire as many as fifteen 737-300s, with plans to convert some to freighter configuration while keeping some for spares. Both Boeing and SF Airlines declined to comment on the rumor.
To learn more about the demand for both narrowbody and widebody freighter conversions, join us at the Cargo Facts Aircraft Symposium in Miami, 22 – 24 October. For more information, or to register, visit the Symposium website.
A dedicated airport for SF Airlines? While rumors of new freighters for SF Airlines appear to be based in fact, the company has denied rumors that it will build its own dedicated airport. The airport rumors arose following a visit by SF Express VP Huang Delin to the Civil Aviation Authority of China’s Central and Southern Region headquarters, and quickly grew, with the new airport to be located either near Wuhan or at an undetermined location in Central Southern China. However, the wcarn aviation news site quotes unnamed sources at the airline as saying that while SF is building dedicated facilities at some airports, it is not planning to build an entire new airport.
SF Airlines currently operates eight 757-200Fs, three 737-400Fs, and five 737-300Fs. It has five more 757-200 P-to-F conversions on order.