Cargo Facts has long predicted that these five freighters would go to one of the HNA subsidiaries, but was not sure whether the operator would be Yangtze River Express (YRE) or Hong Kong Airlines (HKA). When BOC first announced its order several years ago, we assumed the freighters would go to YRE, which was the only freighter operator in the HNA group at the time, and which was expanding rapidly. Last year, however, HNA began adding freighters to the fleet of tiny HKA. This began with three 737-300Fs, and continued with the first two of three A330-200Fs on lease from Aircastle, raising the possibility that the BOC freighters could go there as well.
Today’s announcement from BOC confirms that its five A330-200Fs will go to Yangtze River Express, bringing that carrier’s freighter fleet to 18 units — nine 737-300Fs/QCs and four 747-400Fs in addition to the five A330-200F — and making it a major force in the domestic, regional and intercontinental cargo scenes. Those of you who are interested in how capacity increases like this will effect the various players in the air cargo industry worldwide should join us at the ACMG Workshop in Atlanta next month. Click here for more information on this two-day event at which ACMG’s senior staff share their insights on the air cargo and express industries, and the future of the freighter aircraft market.