Moscow-based Transaero Airlines acquired two Tu-204C freighters in July 2013, and now, seventeen months later, has put them into its first scheduled all-cargo service on a Novosibirsk-Beijing-Novosibirsk route.
The carrier did not say how many weekly frequencies it would operate on the route, but said the first flight (on 8 December) delivered 22.4 tonnes of mail.
While not widely known as a cargo carrier, Transaero is in fact a major player. In addition to its 49-unit narrowbody fleet and the two Tu-204 freighters, it also operates 53 widebody passenger aircraft, the largest widebody fleet in Russia. In 2013 Transaero’s cargo volume was nearly 70,000 tonnes, up 5.9% over 2012, and through the first ten months of 2014 the carrier said volume was up 1.8% over 2013.
Transaero has four A380s, twelve A330s, and eight A320s on order with Airbus, and four 747-8Is on order from Boeing.