Shanghai-based China Cargo Airlines has signed a five-year MRO contract with Lufthansa Technik (LHT). According to a post on social media, this is the company’s first major contract with China Cargo and covers the carrier’s three 747-400Fs.
The contract is for LHT’s Total Component Support service, which includes component overhaul and engineering services, and allows the airline to access LHT’s spare parts inventory pool around the world. LHT will also provide support to China Cargo through a home base lease at the carrier’s hub in Shanghai (PVG).
China Cargo Airlines’ fleet consists of three 747-400Fs and six 777Fs. According to an IPO prospectus filed last month by parent company Eastern Air Logistics (EAL), one of the 747Fs (35208) is on a twelve-year financial lease from SNC Ali Finance expiring 13 September 2019, while another (28263, ex-Great Wall Airlines) is on a nine-year operating lease from GECAS until 18 May 2020, while the third (35207) has been owned since 2 October 2018.
It is currently unclear what China Cargo plans to do when the leases expire, but unit 35207 was purchased by the company at the end of its financial lease, so Cargo Facts would not be surprised if unit 35208 is also acquired in the same manner when its financial lease expires next month and China Cargo elects to renew unit 28263’s lease with GECAS, particularly given that the LHT agreement will run until 2024.
As for China Cargo’s 777Fs (37711, 37713, 37714, 37715, 37716 and 37717), these were all delivered between February 2010 and July 2011. Of these six, one (37713) is on an eighteen-year operating lease while the other five are on twelve-year operating leases.