Guam-based Asia Pacific Airlines acquired a 757-200 (25140, ex-OpenSkies) on lease from Aerolease Aviation, and ferried it to Flightstar Aviation in Jacksonville, where the aircraft was inducted for conversion to freighter configuration by Precision Aircraft Solutions yesterday.
This induction follows recent news from Brisbane-based Pacific Air Express that it plans to resume freighter ops following the acquisition of a pair of ex-DHL International Aviation Middle East 757-200PCFs (22211 and 22611). Pacific Air Express received an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 20 December, for scheduled and charter freighter operations, and expects to put the first aircraft (22611) into service early this year.
Although Pacific Air Express has previously operated freighters on its own AOC, the carrier has in recent years relied on 737-300F capacity ACMI-leased from Airwork NZ to connect Australia with Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. Pacific Air Express’ 757-200Fs, in turn, will operate under the carrier’s own AOC on flights between Australia and China.
The carrier’s second 757-200PCF (22211) is currently at GYR awaiting induction for maintenance and avionics upgrades. Pacific Air tells Cargo Facts it is in the market for a third 757-200PCF and is evaluating adding a 767-300ERF in the future as it seeks to accommodate opportunities in the region.
Express carriers based in mainland China have also taken to the larger narrowbody freighter and have introduced 757Fs to facilitate the launch of short-haul international routes. Hangzhou-based YTO Cargo Airlines – the newest 757 operator in mainland China – introduced its first 757-200PCF in late 2017, and has since taken redelivery of three additional freighters. Although crew shortages have delayed service-entry dates for YTO’s 757-200PCFs, of the four aircraft, all but one (29216) have now entered into scheduled commercial service, according to flight-tracking databases. As reported in Cargo Facts’ 2018 Asian freighter fleet analysis, a number of other carriers in the region continue to expand their 757-200 fleets, including Shenzhen-based SF Express, Beijing-based China Postal Airlines and Guangzhou-based China Air Cargo Corp.
Returning to Asia Pacific Airlines, headquartered 4,600 km to the north of Brisbane, the carrier began modernizing its fleet, which formerly comprised of three 727-200Fs in December 2014, when it took redelivery of its first 757-200PCF. In April 2017, the carrier added a second 757-200PCF, by which time two 727-200Fs had been parked. Although a single 727-200F (22462) remains outside of long-term storage alongside Asia Pacific Airlines’ current fleet of two 757-200PCFs, the aircraft has not flown in some time.
Those interested in learning more about the latest in freighter conversions are invited to join us Cargo Facts EMEA, to be held 4-6 February at The Westin Grand Frankfurt, where a panel discussion will be dedicated to the topic. To register or for more information, visit www.cargofactsemea.com.