SF Airlines, the carrier affiliate of Shenzhen-based SF Express, took redelivery of a 757-200PCF (29943, ex-TUI Airways), growing its fleet to sixty aircraft [FAT 005508].
As the carrier’s fleet grows, it is increasingly opting for younger aircraft.
The latest redelivery (29943), was aged just over twenty years old, as was the case with three 757-200PCFs redelivered last year — all of which were ex-TUI Airways feedstock. SF’s next two ex-TUI 757-200 conversions (33100, 33101) are even younger, and were first delivered in 2003 and 2004, respectively, making them about seventeen years old. Freighter-converted 757s redelivered to SF in 2018 — SF’s most active year-to-date for 757 conversions — were of an older vintage. Of the ten 757-200Fs converted for SF Airlines by Precision Aircraft Solutions and ST Engineering from a batch of former American Airlines feedstock, 70% of the airframes had been delivered as passenger aircraft by Boeing twenty-three to twenty-four years prior to the date of their redelivery as freighters.
Just six of the carrier’s seventeen-unit 737 Classic fleet are younger than twenty-five years old. Its eldest 737 Classic is twenty-nine years old.
SF’s widebody fleet has always been of newer vintage, a trend which has continued with recent acquisitions. The carrier’s first six 767-300BCFs were between eighteen and twenty-one years old at the time of redelivery. Two 767 conversions completed last year were from a batch of four ex-Shanghai Airlines feedstock aged under fourteen years old. The next two units (26329, ex-LATAM, and 30847, ex-Titan Airways) are expected this year.
The carrier’s pair of 747-400ERFs, which it acquired in 2018, are also quite young, at around thirteen years of age.
While recent years have centered around growth, narrowbody retirements aren’t far off. SF’s oldest aircraft was also its first — a 757-200PCF (24401, ex-China Southern Airlines) it received in October 2009 and is thirty-one years old. With a fleet of thirty-five 757s at the end of this year, SF previously told Cargo Facts it will soon reach a point at which it will consider phasing out older aircraft.
SF was a launch customer for the 737-800BCF program and is also exploring the A321F. It expects to add new narrowbody types within three years.
Its widebody expansion strategy is less certain at this point.