MASkargo has placed a bet on A330-200Fs and block space agreements as it moves to cut freighters from its own fleet.
The cargo arm of Malaysia Airlines has been “exploring fleet options” for some time now, according to the company’s May 2015 Twitter feed, but appears to have finally come to a decision. We reported in May 2015, that MASkargo was considering exiting the main-deck freight business, but it now looks like it will only make a partial exit. Reports from several sources, quoting MASkargo executives, confirm that the airline will phase out its two 747-400Fs, but retain at least two of its four A330-200Fs to operate intra-Asia flights.
MASkargo said block space agreements (BSAs) with other carriers will gradually replace the long-haul intercontinental cargo flights formerly operated by MASkargo’s 747 freighters. There had been speculation in the media that the first candidate for such an agreement was Emirates, but a report in ch-aviation, quoting MASkargo CEO Mohd Unus Idris, confirms that the first partner will be Azerbaijan-based Silk Way Airlines.
“The signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between Silk Way Airlines and MASkargo signifies a collaboration that will enhance each other’s network and meet their market needs,” Idris said. “It will allow MASkargo to have a wider presence globally especially in the Commonwealth of Independent States or CIS region. Likewise, this collaboration presents an invaluable opportunity for Silk Way Airlines to strengthen their position within the Intra-Asia network.”
Regarding the 747-400Fs, MASkargo has already parked one. The other is seeing limited service, and will reportedly be parked by the end of this month.
Of the four A330-200Fs, MASkargo currently operates two on its own behalf. Until recently, it operated the other two on an ACMI basis for Turkish Airlines, but Turkish returned one of the leased units late last year and, as far as Cargo Facts can determine, MASkargo has left it parked at Kuala Lumpur (KUL).
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