With third A330F is Sichuan Airlines ready to launch freighter flights?

Sichuan Airlines has taken redelivery of its third A330-200F (1386, ex-Qatar Airways), on lease from BOC Aviation [FAT 005237]. The carrier has now received all three of its ex-Qatar A330Fs but until recently, has not operated the aircraft in commercial service. Shortly after the delivery of its third A330-200F, the carrier operated its first commercial freighter flight from Chengdu (CTU) to Brussels (BRU).

Unit 1386, which had been positioned from Shanghai (SHA) to Clark (CRK) on Oct. 11, was ferried from Clark (CRK) back to the hub in CTU on Nov. 21. Sichuan Airlines took its first A330-200F (1350) in July, and previously told Cargo Facts that it was intending to commence scheduled operations in October to destinations including BRU, Chennai (MAA) and Delhi (DEL).

The second aircraft (1406) was redelivered by BOC Aviation in September. This frame appears to have conducted a short test flight around CTU on Nov. 23.

In the meantime, according to a notice posted by Sichuan Airlines Logistics on Oct. 22, the company is looking for GSAs in Osaka (KIX) and plans to begin operating its A330-200F aircraft in November. A the carrier  gradually opens up new freighter routes, it is actively recruiting GSAs in cities such as Singapore, Shenzhen, Xi’an and Nanjing.

Sichuan Airlines previously told Cargo Facts that it had pushed back the launch of its A330Fs to September, after originally planning to fly an A330-200F between CTU and BRU in April. While that deadline was missed, the carrier has now successfully called to Brussels.

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