Almost three years after it was parked, one of the former Jade Cargo 747-400ERFs looks like it may fly again. But for whom?
In December 2011 Jade Cargo International, a joint venture of Air China and Lufthansa, ceased operation and grounded all six of its 747-400ERFs. These were relatively new aircraft, and despite the difficult air freight demand environment, it seemed likely that they would soon find new homes.
One year later, in December 2012, US-based Southern Air leased one of the six (35171) from AWAS, but the other five have remained on the ground, three stored in China and two in the US at Victorville (VCV).
But now, after more than two-and-one-half years in the desert, one of the remaining five ex-Jade 747-400ERFs is on the move. Last week, unit 35170 was ferried from Victorville to Hong Kong. This freighter was originally leased by Jade from Amentum Capital, and while no announcement has been made about its fate, Cargo Facts believes it may have been bought or leased by Israel-based CAL Cargo Airlines, which recently said it would acquire one 747-400F and one 747-400ERF with entry into service in September and November, respectively.