Australia-based Pionair has purchased German carrier WDL Aviation’s contingent of three BAe 146-300QT freighters, Pionair has confirmed to Cargo Facts [FATs 005144-005146]. The first aircraft (E3150, ex-ASL Airlines Spain) departed Cologne (CGN) last week and is making its way to Australia.
Pionair told Cargo Facts that it expects unit E3150 to enter service within six weeks’ time, and that the other two aircraft would be ferried to Australia by the end of 2019. All three are of a similar age, at around thirty years old.
Apart from the three additions, Pionair’s fleet consists of four BAe 146-200QTs and one BAe 146-200QC. The carrier’s operations involve mostly flying routes along Australia’s East Coast on behalf of Virgin Australia, with aircraft based in Cairns (CNS) and Adelaide (ADL). Pionair said that the three incoming -300QTs will be used for growth rather than replacement, but have not yet secured commitments for long-term work.
The BAe 146-300QT is capable of a gross payload of up to twelve tons, according to WDL. With the removal of all three BAe 146-300QTs from its fleet, the company appears to have exited the freighter-operating space altogether.