Mexico-based MasAir has been certified as a third-country operator (TCO) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), authorizing it for commercial operations into and within the EU.
MasAir told Cargo Facts the new certification allows the carrier to grow its newly established ACMI business unit. While the exact cities to which the carrier plans to operate will depend on ACMI demand, it said it hopes to begin trans-Atlantic flights in 2021, and has already seen strong interest in Amsterdam (AMS), Brussels (BRU) and Frankfurt (FRA).
The first step of MasAir’s ACMI expansion came with the delivery to Mexico City (MEX) of its second 767F, a -300BDSF (24853, ex-ABX Air) on lease from Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM). That aircraft commenced ACMI operations in early August and has since flown to Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Guadalajara (GDL) and Quito (UIO).
MasAir is already certified for extended-range operations by twin-engined aircraft (ETOPS). ETOPS rules are applicable to the majority of trans-Atlantic flights.
The carrier said it had been working for several months to achieve the TCO certification, which also covers four non-EU states — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland — and a number of other territories of EU states. The certification validates the safety performance of foreign air carriers and ensures they comply with EU standards.
MasAir also told Cargo Facts that further expansion of its fleet is a possibility. When Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) announced its second-quarter results in early August, the company had hinted at additional growth outside the U.S. We would not be too surprised if MasAir takes a second 767 from CAM.
The only other TCO-certified Mexican airline is Aeromexico, according to EASA’s latest list dated Aug. 17.