Having recently introduced its first 767F, Kenya-based Astral Aviation will soon also add another 727F to its fleet.
The carrier confirmed to Cargo Facts that a 727-200F (22462) previously operated by Asia Pacific Airlines is destined to join its contingent of freighters, consisting of aircraft in the Fokker 27, DC-9-30, 727-200, 767-200 and 747-400 size categories.
Unit 22462 was the final 727 to be retired by Asia Pacific Airlines, which sent it to Kingman (IGM) for storage in June 2020. The airline confirmed it had sold the aircraft, which left IGM Jan. 19. It appears now to be in Barbados in anticipation of being ferried across the Atlantic.
Astral’s most recent addition is the 767-200BDSF (22217) it is leasing from Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), the lessor arm of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG). That aircraft arrived in Nairobi (NBO) on New Year’s Day and will shortly be deployed on a non-stop route to Sharjah (SHJ).
After West Atlantic returned unit 22217 to CAM in early 2020, ATSG affiliate ABX Air operated the aircraft — already in Astral colors — within the U.S. in December to address peak demand.
Astral told Cargo Facts it is in discussions with CAM on the delivery of a second 767-200F, which could be as soon as February. The carrier first indicated to Cargo Facts its intention to enter the medium-widebody space last May.
Air Atlanta Icelandic operates a 747-400F (27603) and a 747-400BDSF (25700) on an ACMI basis for Astral.