Cargo Facts recently reported on the delivery of Ethiopian Cargo’s first 737-400SF, two weeks ago, as part of a report on the carrier’s new West African cargo hub in Lomé, Togo. The aircraft (msn: 28493), on lease from Aviation Capital Group, was built in 1996 as a passenger aircraft and first leased (by another lessor, Boeing Capital Corp.) to China Airlines. After several years with Brussels Airlines, it was converted in 2012 by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI). It is seen here in final prep for delivery wearing a temporary registration on the fuselage and its current registration (ET-AQV) on the wing. It departed for Africa on September 6, stopping first through Winnipeg, Goose Bay, and Keflavik.
The first 737 freighter for Ethiopian, it’s also the first 737 classic for the carrier – which operates the 737NG (-700 and -800) and at one time operated the 737-200, but hasn’t previously had one of the classics (-300/400/500). The Addis Ababa based carrier has also used the 757-200, in passenger and cargo form – since 1990.
As indicated by our earlier story, the aircraft will be ACMI leased to Togolese carrier ASKY airlines, who will operate it on regional routes from the new Lomé hub – including destinations such as Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Bamako, Douala, Libreville, and Ouagadougou – among others. Lomé will then be connected to Addis Ababa and Liege via Ethiopian’s larger freighters. ASKY airlines, which began operations in 2010, was founded in partnership with Ethiopian, which owns 40% of ASKY and also leases four Bombardier Q400s to the Togolese carrier on the passenger side.
For those interested in Ethiopian’s plans and ascent to its position as the biggest cargo carrier in Africa, be sure to join us at the upcoming 2013 Cargo Facts Aircraft Symposium (October 21-23, Seattle), where Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam will be giving the keynote address. For more information, or to register, visit cargofactssymposium.com.
© Photographer: Alex Kwanten