21 Air announced this week it had entered into a long-term aircraft interchange agreement with Mexico-based Mas Air to operate Mas’ sole 767-300F (34627) on an interchange basis.
Although Mas will remain the primary operator of the aircraft, US-based 21 Air will be called upon to operate certain scheduled segments.
According to flight-tracking radar, Mas currently utilizes its 767F for intra-Latin America flights, and flights between the United States and Latin America. While 21 Air’s flight schedule for Mas has not yet been confirmed, Cargo Facts expects Mas’ own crew will continue operating most intra-Latin America flights, while interchange flights will comprise of segments between the United States and Mexico. Such an operation would be complementary with 21 Air’s existing operations – at present, the carrier operates a 767-200BDSF on an ACMI basis for AeroMexico Cargo, and those operations include scheduled frequencies between Los Angeles (LAX) and Mexico City (MEX) – key routes for Mas as well. In practice, Mas crews could operate flights to LAX, where 21 Air could then handle the return, or onward flights within the United States.
For Mas Air, recent restructuring and the small scale of its freighter operations warrant the interchange agreement. Last year LATAM Airlines sold its stake in Mas Air, and the Mexico-based carrier has since continued to operate independently of LATAM Cargo. With just a single aircraft, and without an overarching parent airline, crewing aircraft in multiple regions becomes a more complex undertaking. We note, however, that the 767-300F (34627) is still owned by LATAM, and is leased to Mas Air.
Returning to 21 Air, the operator plans to increase 767-300F flying with more aircraft, the carrier said in a release. While no aircraft have yet been identified as acquisition targets, 21 Air is reportedly seeking approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate scheduled and non-scheduled international cargo services between the US and Canada, and beyond. For now, 21 Air operates a single 767-200BDSF on an ACMI basis for AeroMexico Cargo, and has a second 767-200BDSF in maintenance.