With the news that DB Schenker will shutter the BAX Global network, it seems like time might be running out for at least some of Air Transport International’s pretty 70-series DC-8s. With the youngest DC-8’s pushing forty years of age, there remain just three U.S. operators running the type – Astar, ATI, and National. ATI also operates a trio of DC-8-62 combis for government charter work. It remains to be seen what exactly will happen to these aircraft now that they won’t be running the BAX routes anymore – although to be clear, this isn’t their only mission.
The DC-8 seen here, N605AL (msn: 46106) was delivered as a DC-8-63CF to Seaboard World Airlines in August of 1969, and has had more operators than Ma Bell’s old switchboard.
Seaboard leased it seasonally to Loftleidir Icelandic and, once, Overseas National Airways, from its delivery until it sold the aircraft to UTA in 1977. It was then sold to a lessor in 1981 and leased to charter carrier Capitol International Airways. 46106 underwent conversion to a -73 in December of 1982.
In 1983, it went from Capitol to Arrow under the auspices of Arrow Air’s new management, which also owned Capitol. Two years later, it was sold to Lufthansa subsidiary German Cargo and leased seasonally to then-fellow-Lufthansa subsidiary Condor. Eventually the charter flying at Condor ceased and the aircraft became part of the Lufthansa Cargo fleet when German Cargo was reshaped into this new entity.
Lufthansa Cargo sold it to a lessor in 1996 and it began flying for Emery Worldwide. It finally ended up with ATI by 2002 after some time in storage. Spotters have been enjoying ATI’s excellent livery on this immaculately clean classic ever since.
BAX Global traces its origin to Burlington Northern Air Freight, which began as a subsidiary of the eponymous railroad in 1972. It became BAX Global in 1997, some fifteen years after being acquired by Brinks from Burlington Northern. Deutsche Bahn purchased BAX Global in 2006 and amalgamated it with Schenker.
Photographer: Alex Kwanten