Sweden-headquartered West Atlantic group has now consolidated its mixed fleet to one that no longer includes widebody freighters.
West Atlantic returned two 767-200BDSFs to Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), the leasing arm of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) [FATs 005845-005846]. Both freighters (22222 and 22224) arrived at ATSG’s main hub at Wilmington (ILN) on Jan. 2.
ATSG confirmed to Cargo Facts that the two aircraft are now off lease from West Atlantic, and will undergo maintenance in preparation for transition to another customer. Both are already under agreement for the same lessee, ATSG said.
Previously, West Atlantic had operated the aircraft on behalf of integrator customers like FedEx and DHL Express, either directly for the express companies, or on contract with some of the other carriers operating on their behalf, such as EAT Leipzig.
While FedEx ACMI-leases most of the narrowbody freighters in its European network, most of its widebody aircraft in the region are own-operated. Since 2019, FedEx has started to base some of its own 767Fs in Europe.
Meanwhile, DHL has also expanded its own fleet with the introduction of A330-300P2Fs in its European network, and has several more freighter-converted 767-300s and A330-300s still on the way, even if it is currently unclear how many of those aircraft will be deployed in Europe.
Cargo Facts believes one likely candidate for the new lessee is Mexico-based MasAir, which expects to add at least two more freighters in 2021.
Last year, CAM placed another of West Atlantic’s previous 767-200BDSFs (22788) and a 767-300BDSF (24853, ex-ABX Air) with MasAir.
A fourth 767-200BDSF (22217) previously leased to West Atlantic and returned in the first half of 2020 was recently delivered on lease to Kenya-based Astral Aviation, which may also be the recipient of units 22222 and 22224.
Ahead of Brexit, West Atlantic shuffled some aircraft between its affiliate carriers. Notably, four 737-800BCFs previously based in the U.K. were transferred to the company’s Swedish AOC, and five 737-400Fs are now operated by Spanish affiliate Swiftair. Late last year, the U.K. carrier also added an ATR 72-200F previously operated by Swiftair, whose parent company LUSAT is also the majority shareholder in West Atlantic.
West Atlantic could not immediately be reached for comment.