Freighter aircraft transactions through mid-May

Lufthansa Cargo began its long-anticipated fleet renewal with an order for two 777Fs. Both will be delivered early next year.

Every week in Cargo Facts Update, we include a list of recent freighter aircraft transactions, and then a comprehensive summary in the monthly issue of Cargo Facts. Each reference to a freighter aircraft transaction (FAT) in our publications contains a unique FAT code linked to the FAT database on the CargoFacts.com website. This database is available to subscribers as an interactive tool on our website, and you can go to it from the “FAT Data” tab at the top of the home page, or directly at https://cargofacts.com/fat/

Below, we include the transactions from recent issues of Cargo Facts Update, and we encourage you to make use of the FAT database here on our website.

Saudia Cargo returned a 747-8F (37563) to service [FAT 004394]. The carrier parked both its 747-8Fs in March 2017, returning the other unit (37562) to service in February 2018.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings will operate a second 747-400F for DHL Global Forwarding (DHLGF) on an ACMI basis [FAT 004393]. Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHLGF, said the extra capacity was needed because “demand is currently exceeding supply mainly due to the large economies performing strongly. On major trade lanes, volumes are high, but capacities are low – a trend that will continue.”

Azerbaijan-based Silk Way West Airlines acquired a 747-400F (28434) [FAT 004395]. Malaysia Airlines returned the freighter to lessor ALM – Airline Leasing & Management in December last year, which, in turn leased it to Moldova-based Aerotrans Cargo. However, Aerotrans appears not to have taken it up.

Belarus-based Rubystar Airways acquired a 747-400BCF (24975) on lease from Boeing Capital Corporation. Rubystar is reportedly operating the freighter (which has been parked since 2013) for Silk Way West Airlines [FATs 004396 – 4397].

Lufthansa Cargo ordered two 777Fs from Boeing [FATs 004401– 4402]. Delivery of the two freighters is scheduled for February and March 2019. The Germany-based carrier currently operates five 777Fs and twelve MD-11Fs, and plans to use the new 777Fs to replace older MD-11Fs. However, as Lufthansa has often pointed out, the MD-11Fs are fully paid-for, and can be parked, rather than retired, at little cost to the company. Then, if demand increases, they can be brought back into service at short notice.

Taiwan-based EVA Air took delivery of a 777F (62825) from Boeing [FAT 004403]. EVA now operates six freighters: two 747-400Fs, two 747-400BDSFs, and two 777Fs, and has three more 777Fs on order. The carrier has long planned to reduce and modernize its freighter fleet, going from three 747-400Fs and five 747-400BDSFs to just five 777Fs, and, en route to that goal, has already retired one -400F and three -400BDSFs (all now operated by Atlas Air). However, if air freight demand continues to increase, it will be interesting to see whether EVA chooses to keep any of its remaining 747 freighters as more 777Fs enter the fleet.

FedEx took delivery of a 767-300F (42732) from Boeing [FAT 004404]. FedEx now operates fifty-six 767-300Fs and has fifty-eight more on order.

DHL International Aviation Middle East acquired a 767-200F (22790) on ACMI lease from Air Transport Services Group [FAT 004405].

Vx orders another 737-400 P-to-F conversion. US-based lessor Vx Capital Partners placed an order with Aeronautical Engineers Inc (AEI) for conversion of a 737-400 (27673, ex NewGen Airways) [FAT 004398]. The aircraft, which will be inducted for conversion at the KF Aerospace facility in Kelowna (YLW) in June, will be the twenty-third 737-400 Vx has had converted by AEI.

US-based lessor Automatic LLC acquired a 737-400F (28896) from Alaska Airlines [FAT 004399].

Iceland-based Bluebird Nordic acquired a 737-400F (25376, ex-Enter Air) on lease from Vx Capital Partners, following conversion to freighter configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FAT 004400]. Bluebird Nordic now operates five 737‑400Fs and three 737-300Fs.

Royal Air Maroc returned a 737-300F (24020) to lessor GECAS [FAT 004406]. The return of this 737 freighter leaves Royal Air Maroc, temporarily at least, without main-deck capacity. The carrier had one of its 767-300ERs (30008) converted to freighter configuration by Boeing at the ST Aero facility in Paya Lebar (QPG), but although the conversion appears to have been completed in March, the freighter remains parked at QPG.

Mexico-based Aeronaves TSM took redelivery of an MD-83F (53293, ex-American Airlines) following conversion to freighter configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FAT 004407].

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