Today, PEMCO World Air Services (PEMCO) announced it had reached an agreement with South Korea-based Air Incheon to convert a 737-400 (25857) into freighter configuration.
As cross-border trade expands in the region, Air Incheon has found itself once again looking for more capacity. Last October, Air Incheon secured long-term leasing agreements for three 737-800 freighter-conversions from Spectre Air Capital. Spectre had earlier said it expected Bedek Aviation Group to complete conversion of its first 737-800BDSF during 3Q17. It is unclear if this redelivery target remains on schedule. PEMCO meanwhile, has said it will redeliver Air Incheon’s most recent freighter conversion around the same time, in 3Q17. This will be Air Incheon’s second PEMCO-converted 737-400F, and the third 737-400F to join the carrier’s fleet.
The Korean all-cargo airline which focuses on transporting perishables, machinery and dangerous goods within Korea, Japan, China, Russia and Mongolia on its narrowbody freighter fleet has seen an uptick in demand in recent months. Last month, Air Incheon inked an ACMI agreement with China Postal Airlines to provide 5x weekly service between Seoul (ICN) and Shijiazhuang Zhengding (SJW) in Hebei province. Capacity on the flights will be managed by China Postal Airlines and its local affiliate, Hebei Post Express Logistics Company. The flights are expected to support mail, pharma, and electronics exports, alongside imports from South Korea.
If volumes moving between the Seoul and Shijiazhuang are sufficient to justify 5x-weekly flights to Seoul, we would not be surprised to see China Postal Airlines and Air Incheon expand the ACMI agreement to include other destinations in China.
Those interested in learning more about narrowbody conversions and the market for express air freight in Asia should join us in Shanghai 25-26 April for Cargo Facts Asia. Executives from leading conversion houses will discuss the future of narrowbody freighter conversions in detail. To learn more, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com.