The Cargo Facts Asia 2014 event is still an hour from being officially underway, and already there is news breaking.
The first news – from late last night – is a major move by Wuhan-based Uni-Top Airlines, which signed an order with EFW for four A300-600 passenger-to-freighter conversions. Cargo Facts believes that Uni-Top has in fact acquired seven A300-600s, formerly in the fleet of China Eastern Airlines, and may choose to have the remaining three converted, but so far has placed a firm order for four conversions.
Uni-Top, which currently operates three 747-200Fs from its base in Wuhan, last year acquired Tianjin-based GrandStar Cargo International, the former joint venture of Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co. and Korean Air. The acquisition gave Uni-Top Grandstar’s traffic rights, and also the carriers single 747-400F. The freighter remains parked, and it is not known when Uni-Top will put it into service.
This is only the second order for P-to-F conversion of widebody aircraft in the last two years. The other was a three-unit 767-300 conversion order placed by Guggenheim Aviation Partners with Boeing. Guggenheim recently leased the first of the three to Denmark-based Star Air, which will operate it in European service for UPS.