China-based Uni-Top Airlines took redelivery of an A300-600F (763, ex-China Eastern), following conversion to freighter configuration by EFW.
This is the first of seven A300-600s Uni-Top is having converted by EFW, and marks a significant change in the carrier’s strategy. Uni-Top currently operates three 747-200Fs in international service to India from its base in Wuhan, but, as we reported last year, the carrier says it will set up a domestic China feeder operation to support the international flying.
But details are scarce. Uni-Top has not indicated when the newly acquired A300 freighter will enter revenue service, nor what its domestic/regional route structure will be. And another unanswered question is whether the domestic network is planned only as a feeder service for Uni-Top’s China-India business, or whether the company is eyeing the domestic China express market.
Also unknown is the carrier’s plan for its 747-400 freighter. In 2013, Uni-top acquired Tianjin-based GrandStar Cargo International, the former joint venture of Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co. and Korean Air. The acquisition gave Uni-Top Grandstar’s traffic rights, and also the carrier’s single 747-400F (26401). Two years after the acquisition, that freighter remains parked at Beijing, where it has sat since GrandStar ended operations in 2011.
Uni-Top currently serves the Indian cities of Delhi and Chennai from its base in Wuhan.