Italy-based startup AlisCargo Airlines will soon begin cargo operations with two reconfigured 777-200ERs, but is considering progressing to full freighters at a later stage, the new carrier told Cargo Facts.
The first of AlisCargo’s aircraft (30871, ex-LATAM) arrived in Shannon (SNN) on June 13. The 2001-vintage 777, with Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines, had been in storage in Goodyear since November 2019.
Meanwhile, its sister frame, (30872, ex-Air New Zealand), which has been parked in Victorville (VCV) since September 2019, appears to have conducted ground tests May 27. AlisCargo did not comment if unit 30872 is its second 777, but confirmed that it is leasing both aircraft from Boeing Capital Corporation and expects entry into service in July 2021, after securing its air operator certificate from the Italian authorities.
AlisCargo told Cargo Facts that both aircraft have had all seats removed from the cabin under an STC that will soon receive final approval from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
While the 777 is the most popular model for temporary cargo reconfigurations, the vast majority have been the -300ER variant, according to Cargo Facts research, with around sixty units in total since March 2020 compared to around ten 777-200ERs.
AlisCargo said the 777 has the best economics and payload-volume ratio for its planned operations, which include flights from Italy to Asia and North America, but did not elaborate why it selected the -200ER in particular. We note that several carriers have recently released 777-300ERs, including Emirates, Cathay Pacific and ANA.
AlisCargo said it is evaluating adding full freighters but has not reached a decision yet.
The AlisCargo management team is no stranger to freighter operations; CEO Francesco Rebaudo has previously held roles including CEO of Silk Way West affiliate SW Italia, CEO of Cargolux Italia, and general manager of Cargoitalia, which had a fleet of three MD-11Fs and a DC-10-30F but folded in 2011. Chief Commercial Officer Ulrich Ogiermann, meanwhile, was most recently CEO of CargoLogic Germany but has also been chief cargo officer of Qatar Airways and president and CEO of Cargolux.
The man behind AlisCargo is Alcide Leali, who acquired Cargoitalia in 2008 through an entity named ALIS.
Italy’s other freighter operator is currently Poste Air Cargo, which completed its fleet renewal earlier this year and now has five 737-400Fs.