Today we continue with Part II of the 2015 edition of our annual widebody freighter fleet analysis (you can read Part I here).
Yesterday’s post looked at the overall changes to the structure of the fleet in the last year. Today we turn from aircraft types, to operators, and tomorrow we will look at trends that will shape the freighter fleet in years ahead.
As shown in the chart at the bottom of this post, in mid-February 2015 the widebody freight fleet included 978 units of 18 types, operated by a total of 85 carriers.The number of carriers is unchanged from last year, but some of the names on the list have changed. Carriers on the list last year but missing this year include:
- First Air: The Canadian carrier’s 767-200BDSF was acquired by Cargojet, another Canada-based airline, which now operates it for First Air on an ACMI basis. First Air continues to operate a fleet of passenger aircraft and some narrowbody freighters.
- Georgian Star International: No longer operating any aircraft. Whether it will return to operation is unknown.
- Solinair: Slovenia-based Solinair is still in business, but ceased operating its only widebody, an A300B4F. It continues to operate narrowbodies.
- RUS Aviation: United Arab Emirates-based RUS transferred its two A300-600Fs to newly formed subsidiary Unique Air.
- Trans Mediterranean Airlines: TMA went out of business last year. Its A300-600F was acquired by EAT Leipzig.
- Rayyan Air: Pakistan-based Rayyan went out of business in 2014, but was immediately reincarnated as AHS Air International.
- World Airways: After struggling for several years, US-based World finally ended operations in 2014.
- Jet Star: Moldova-based Jet Star launched service in 2012, but ended operations in 2014. Its single 747-200F appears to have been acquired by Moldovan startup, Continental Airways. When, or even if, Continental will launch service is unknown.
New to the list this year are:
- AHS Air International: The new incarnation of Pakistan’s Rayyan Air now operates the two 747-200Fs that were in Rayyan’s fleet.
- Avianca Brasil: The Brazilian arm of the Avianca group took delivery of its first freighter, an A330-200F. It has one more on order.
- Blue Sky Aviation Services: A United Arab Emirates-based startup that took its first freighter, an A300-600F, in 2014.
- Dynamic Airways: US-based Dynamic Airways began operating two 767-200Fs on a charter basis, but also offers some scheduled service to Latin America. It operates the freighters on an ACMI basis for 21 Air.
- SW Italia: A joint venture of Azerbaijan-based Silk Way and two Italian businessmen, SW Italia acquired its first 747-400F (transferred from the Silk Way fleet) and will operate it from Milan.
- Unique Air: United-Arab Emirates-based Unique was formed as a subsidiary of RUS Aviation, and now operates its parent’s two A300-600Fs.
- West Air Sweden: The Sweden-based carrier acquired a 767-200F as part of the deal that saw US-based Air Transport Services Group take a 25% stake in its parent, West Atlantic.
- Western Global Airlines: US-based Western Global, a startup founded by Jim Neff, has acquired several MD-11Fs, and is now operating three of them.
Not shown on the chart are carriers which lease widebody freighters on an ACMI basis, but do not operate any on their own behalf. This includes carriers such as Astral Aviation, which ACMI leases a 747-400F from Atlas Air. For carriers that both operate their own freighters, and also ACMI-lease additional lift, we show only the carrier’s own freighters. Etihad Airways, for example is shown with three 777Fs and four A330-200Fs, but it also ACMI-leases a 747-8F and two 747-400Fs from Atlas. Regarding aircraft operated on a CMI basis (Crew, Maintenance and Insurance), we show these in the fleet of the carrier that flies them. DHL Express, for example, has five 767-200Fs and four 777Fs, but these are operated by Atlas Air and Southern Air, respectively, and we show them in the Atlas and Southern fleets. Also not shown on the charts are the An-124s used in commercial charter service, all but one of which are in the fleets of Antonov Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Airlines.