Zhengzhou-based Central Airlines has taken delivery of its first 737-800, becoming the fourth operator of 737NG freighters in China [FATs 007497-7498].
The 2002-vintage unit 30420 (ex-SunExpress), which arrived at CGO on April 30, is on lease from BBAM. It arrived in Jinan (TNA) in September 2021 for conversion with Boeing and carried out a test flight at the end of March under Central’s call sign.
Unit 30420 is now the youngest aircraft in a fleet that includes five 737-300Fs averaging twenty-seven years old.
Central Airlines joins China Postal Airlines, Tianjin Air Cargo and China Central Longhao Airlines as a 737-800BCF operator in China. The carrier will also be the seventh 737NG freighter operator in the Asia-Pacific region, joining SpiceJet, Air Incheon and K-Mile, among others.
Central Airlines plans to expand its freighter fleet with five aircraft in 2022, according to its website. The airline only received its first 737-300F (25998, ex-Suparna Airlines) in 2020, when Central was China’s newest cargo carrier.
CGO is also the base of China Central Longhao Airlines, which currently has five 737-800BCFs along with six Classics.
Longhao had previously planned an expansion into widebody freighters, originally believed to be five 767-300Fs from Boeing’s unidentified orderbook. However, Cargo Facts believes that two of those units are the ones Air Canada will soon receive from Boeing.
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