Freighter aircraft transactions through mid-March

A partnership with Turkish Cargo could potentially grant Hong Kong Air Cargo access to much more freighter capacity on international routes.

LATAM Cargo sold its last two 777Fs to Atlas, but will expand its 767 freighter fleet with three 767-300BCFs. Photo: Pieter van Marion/Wikimedia

Every week in Cargo Facts Update, we include a list of recent freighter aircraft transactions, and then a comprehensive summary in the monthly issue of Cargo Facts. Each reference to a freighter aircraft transaction (FAT) in our publications contains a unique FAT code linked to the FAT database on the website. This database is available to subscribers as an interactive tool on our website, and you can go to it from the “FAT Data” tab at the top of the home page, or directly at

Below, we include the transactions from recent issues of Cargo Facts Update, and we encourage you to make use of the FAT database here on our website.

LATAM Cargo sells remaining 777Fs to Atlas, orders 767-300BCFs. Chile-based LATAM Cargo, which not too long ago operated four 777Fs, will soon be down to zero with the sale of its remaining two units (38091, 41518) to Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings [FATs 004283 – 4284]. On the other hand, its 767 freighter fleet will soon increase from the current eight -300Fs with the addition of three 767-300BCFs on order with Boeing [FATs 4285 – 4287]. You can read our analysis of LATAM’s fleet plans here.

FedEx took delivery of a 777F (40683) from Boeing [FAT 004293]. FedEx now operates thirty-four 777Fs and has twelve more on order with Boeing.

Turkish Airlines acquired an A330-200F (1164) on lease from DVB Bank [FAT 004295]. Malaysia Airlines’ cargo arm operated the freighter beginning in 2012 but parked it in mid-2016, before returning it to DVB Bank off lease in mid-2017. DVB had it painted in Royal Jordanian livery, but Royal Jordanian cancelled its plan to lease the freighter and it has been stored at Marana (MZJ) until now.

Air Transport Services Group took redelivery of a 767‑300BDSF (27184, ex-American Airlines) following conversion to freighter configuration by Bedek Aviation Group {FATs 004277 – 4279].

Air Transport Services Group took redelivery of a 767-300BDSF (25202, ex-American Airlines) following conversion to freighter configuration by Bedek Aviation Group [FAT 004288].

Atlas Air acquired a 767-300ER (27619, ex-VIM) from AerCap, and will have it converted to freighter configuration [FAT 004294].

DHL International Aviation Middle East returned two 767‑200Fs (23146, 23434) to Air Transport Services Group off lease [FATs 004280 and 4281].

Airwork Holdings put a 757-200 (27446, ex-American Airlines) into conversion with Precision Aircraft Solutions [FAT 004296].

Sweden-based West Atlantic will acquire a 737-400F (25842, ex-British Airways) on lease from Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM, the leasing arm of Air Transport Services Group) following conversion by PEMCO World Air Services [FATs 004289 – 4290]. West Atlantic will put the freighter into the fleet of UK-based subsidiary carrier Atlantic Airlines.

GECAS put a 737-400 (29270, ex-Alaska Airlines) into conversion by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FAT 004297].

Vx to convert a 737-400. US-based lessor Vx Capital Partners acquired a 737-400 (28867, ex-Air Explore) and will have it converted to freighter configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc at the Flightstar facility in Jacksonville (VQQ) [FATs 004273 – 4274].

Another 737-300F for Longhao. China-based Longhao Airlines acquired a 737-300F (29108) from GECAS [FATs 004275 – 4276]. As was the case with unit 29109 (reported last week), the freighter, currently being painted in Longhao livery, was recently returned off lease to GECAS by ASL Airlines Belgium. Cargo Facts believes Longhao will operate both freighters for SF Express.

Longhao Airlines to double freighter fleet. Guangzhou-based all-cargo carrier Longhao Airlines launched service eleven months ago with the aim of providing capacity to China’s express companies. The carrier, which currently operates almost exclusively for Shenzhen-based SF Express, started with a single 737-300F. By year-end 2017 it had three 737-300Fs in service. In February, Longhao added units four and five (29108, 29109), and outlined plans to further grow its narrowbody freighter fleet to seven 737Fs before the end of the year [FATs 004270 – 4271, 004275 – 4276].

Venezuela-based Vensecar International returned an ATR 42F (61) to Network Aviation Management Service off lease [FAT 004282]. Vensecar had operated the freighter for DHL Express since 2007.

In addition to the above transactions, we include three items below, which, while they do not involve reportable transactions, do indicate future transactions.

777Fs for All Nippon. Japan-based All Nippon Airways (ANA) will add two 777Fs as part of its new five-year business plan that runs from now through 2022. Shinya Katozaka, President of parent ANA Holdings, said ANA would likely operate the new freighters in trans-Pacific service, where the carrier could take advantage of a freighter “capable of transporting large cargoes such as aircraft engines and automobiles, lithium batteries and medicines.” He did not provide a precise timetable for the acquisition of the 777Fs.

Flexport and Western Global ink 3-year 747F charter deal. On 5 April, US-based Western Global Airlines will begin operating twice-weekly 747-400F service between Hong Kong and Los Angeles for freight forwarder Flexport. The companies plan to add a third frequency in September.

Tianjin Cargo Airlines plans to launch in 2Q18 with a trio of 737Fs. The HNA-affiliate start-up has ambitious plans to expand its freighter fleet to fifty aircraft within five years of commencing commercial service. According to a news report from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), Tianjin Cargo plans to operate 737Fs, 767Fs, and 747Fs. Few details regarding the carrier’s freighter acquisition plans have been publicly released, and it is still unclear if the first 737Fs will be freighters currently operated by sister carrier Suparna Airlines, or will come from an outside source. Tianjin Cargo Airlines, which received CAAC approval to launch in October 2017, intends to serve domestic routes with narrowbody aircraft before gradually opening international cargo routes with widebody freighters.

Interested in learning more about the future of the worldwide freighter fleet? Then join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2018, where our sister company Air Cargo Management Group will release the 2018 edition of its “Twenty Year Freighter Forecast.

Cargo Facts Asia will be held 23-25 April, at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai. For more information, or to register, visit

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