A Thai Airways 747-400BCF (24459) has just been ferried from U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport (UTP), where it had been in storage for four-and-a-half years, to Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK). Cargo Facts believes that this aircraft may be undergoing maintenance ahead of redelivery to another operator.
Unit 24459 was originally delivered to Thai in 1990, and was converted into freighter configuration in 2012. It was then removed from the carrier’s active fleet after about three years of service and stored at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) and UTP.
At CGK is an MRO provider called GMF AeroAsia, which lists 747 maintenance as one of its capabilities. When Taiwanese carrier EVA Air transferred its last two 747-400BDSFs to Air Atlanta Icelandic, the two frames each spent a few months at CGK and likely had maintenance work carried out by GMF AeroAsia before being redelivered.
As for the eventual operator of unit 24459, if it is indeed being brought back to service, we would suggest that Air Atlanta Icelandic is a potential candidate. The carrier is one of a few to continue to opportunistically add freighter-converted aircraft to its fourteen-strong 747-only fleet, and already has one -400BCF (24801) that is of a similar age to unit 24459.
Thai currently has one more 747-400BCF (24458) in storage at UTP. Time will tell whether this frame shares the same fate as unit 24459.
Thai and EVA aren’t the only ones to reactivate their 747 freighters. In August 2019, China Airlines also brought a 747-400F out of storage and flew it to its Taipei (TPE) base to undergo heavy maintenance. The new operator of the aircraft is still unknown.
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