Freighter aircraft transactions through the end of March

Cargo Facts believes Turkish Airlines is the “Unidentified Customer” that ordered three 777Fs from Boeing.

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.

US-based Kalitta Air acquired a 747-400F (26406) from Korean Air [FAT 004296]. Korean took delivery of the freighter in 1997 and operated it until parking it in January 2017.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings acquired a 747-400F (30607) from EVA Air [FAT 004310].

Moldova-based Aerotrans Cargo is reported to have acquired a 747-400F (28434) on lease from UK-based Aircraft Leasing & Management [FATs 004320 – 4321]. The freighter was originally delivered to Malaysia Airlines, which parked it in early 2016.

Air France-KLM retired a 747-400 combi (23982) from the KLM fleet [FAT 004297]. KLM now has eight of the big combis, all of which are slated for retirement.

Japan-based All Nippon Airways ordered two 777Fs from Boeing [FATs 004318 – 4319]. ANA, which currently operates twelve 767-300 freighters, had announced its intent to acquire the 777Fs late last month. You can read our analysis of the order here.

FedEx took delivery of a 777F (40683) from Boeing [FAT 004293]. FedEx now operates thirty-four 777Fs and has twelve more on order with Boeing.

Boeing announced an order for three 777Fs from an unidentified customer [FATs 004304 – 4306]. Cargo Facts believes the customer is Turkish Airlines, which, with year-over-year cargo volume increases averaging close to 30% for the last several years, clearly could use some extra capacity. Turkish Airlines’ freighter fleet currently includes two 777Fs, ten A330-200Fs, and three A310-300Fs, as well as four ACMI-leased 747-400Fs (three from Kalitta Air and one from Atlas). The carrier ordered three 777Fs on 30 December last year, and, if it is indeed the unidentified customer, it would now have six 777Fs on order – which would allow it to replace some of the leased-in capacity and/or add additional capacity to cope with the huge increases in volume.

Turkish Airlines acquired an A330-200F (1164) on lease from DVB Bank [FAT 004295]. Malaysia Airlines’ cargo arm operated the freighter beginning in 2012 but parked it in mid-2016, before returning it to DVB Bank off lease in mid-2017. DVB had it painted in Royal Jordanian livery, but Royal Jordanian cancelled its plan to lease the freighter and it has been stored at Marana (MZJ) until now.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) took redelivery of 767-300BCF (28098, ex-Nordwind Airlines) following conversion to freighter configuration by Boeing at the EGAT facility in Taipei. Titan Aircraft leasing, AAWW’s leasing arm, leased the freighter to Amazon, which handed it back for operation on a CMI basis by Atlas Air [FATs 004322 – 4324].

Atlas Air acquired a 767-300ER (27619, ex-VIM) from AerCap, and will have it converted to freighter configuration [FAT 004294].

Afriqiyah Airways’ freighter returns to service. The only A300-600F (788) owned by Libya’s state-owned Afriqiyah was at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) for repairs after the freighter took artillery damage at Libya’s Tripoli Mitiga International Airport (MJI) during an attack there in January. The freighter returned to Libya’s Misrata Airport (MRA) on 26 March [FAT 004325] and should resume regular cargo service soon, ch-aviation reports.

US-based Everts Air Cargo ordered two MD-83 passenger-to-freighter conversions from Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FATs 004298 – 4299]. The first (53471, ex-Ryan International) will enter conversion in April, with redelivery scheduled for August. The second unit, so far unidentified, will enter conversion in August.

Brazil-based Azul acquires its first freighters. Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras said that, “as a result of the significant growth of its cargo business, Azul intends to lease two used 737-400 freighter aircraft with deliveries expected for the second half of the year.” According to a recent report in ch-aviation, the two will be units 28198 and 28053. The first is an ex-Miami Air International aircraft acquired by Vx Capital Partners in August 2017 and converted to freighter configuration by PEMCO World Air Services [FATs 004307 – 4308]. Once redelivered, Azul has been quoted as saying it will operate between São Paulo (VCP) and Manaus (MAO). The second, also ex-Miami Air, was acquired by Vx in early March 2018, and is believed to be in conversion now [FAT 004309]. For more on this, and on Azul’s planned “integrated logistics joint venture” with Correios, Brazil’s postal service, see our report here.

Bulgaria-based Cargo Air took redelivery of a 737-400F (28489, ex-Enter Air) following conversion to freighter configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FAT 004311]. Cargo Air’s fleet now includes six 737-400Fs, three 737-300Fs, and one 737-400 in passenger configuration. The carrier acquired the passenger aircraft (28038, ex-Enter Air) in late 2016 and leased it out to Greece-based Astra Airlines from April to October 2017. It is currently undergoing maintenance at Sofia International (SOF), and Cargo Facts expects it will soon enter conversion. Cargo Air operates six of its freighters for DHL Express, and one for UPS.

China-based Suparna Airlines is selling two 737-400Fs to sister carrier, Tianjin Cargo Airlines in a transaction valued at US $14.5 million [FATs 004302 – 4303]. The deal, for units 29914 and 29915 was announced in a release on the Shanghai Stock Exchange by Hainan Airlines Holdings Co., Ltd. Once the transfer is complete, Tianjin Cargo Airlines will have the three units necessary to launch. Its first 737-300F (27362, also from the Suparna fleet) has already been repainted and is expected to be unveiled soon. Tianjin Cargo expects to launch in 2Q18. The acquisition follows a recent tranche of government funding from the Tianjin Municipal Government valued at US$19 million. HNA’s newest all-cargo subsidiary has ambitious plans to grow its fleet to fifty aircraft within the next three years. For more on Tianjin Air Cargo’s plan to become a major integrated express operator, see our analysis.

US-based lessor Vx Capital Partners took redelivery of two 737-400Fs (28887, ex-Alaska Airlines, and 25376, ex-Enter Air) following conversion by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FATs 004312 – 4313]. The two freighters are, respectively, the 18th and 19th P-to-F conversions AEI has redelivered to Vx.

  • Unit 28887, which was converted at the KF Aerospace facility in Kelowna (YLW), and has been leased to Iceland-based Bluebird Nordic [FAT 004314].
  • No end user has been announced for 25376, which was converted by Flightstar in Jacksonville (VQQ).

ASL Airlines Ireland took redelivery of a 737-400F (28886, ex-Alaska Airlines) following conversion to freighter configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FATs 004326].

DHL charters 737-400F from Safair. DHL Aviation, a division of DHL Express, is replacing the ATR-72 operating on its Johannesburg-Harare-Lusaka route in Southern Africa with a 737-400 freighter (27143). According to ch-aviation, DHL is chartering the freighter from South Africa-based Safair [FAT 004327]. The freighter will be the fourth 737-400F in DHL’s sub-Saharan Africa air network and its first in the Southern Africa region, and will make flights five days per week from Johannesburg.

US-based Kalitta Charters acquired a 737-400 (25407) from Automatic LLC, and will have it converted to freighter configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc [FATs 004328 – 4329].

Venezuela-based Vensecar Internacional 737 freighters set to resume service [FATs 004315 – 4316]. The Venezuela-based all-cargo carrier will return its two parked 737-400 freighters to commercial cargo service operating for DHL Express, ch-aviation reported. One of the freighters (29487) has already resumed service, while the second (26606) is scheduled to begin operating again by the end of March.

Brazil-based Modern Logistics acquired a 737-300F (24463) on lease from KV Aviation [FATs 004330 – 4331]. The freighter was formerly operated by Bluebird Nordic.

Brazil-based Modern Logistics acquired a 737-300QC (24219, ex-Titan Airways). The aircraft is believed to be on lease from Automatic LLC [FAT 004317].

UK-based charter operator JOTA Aviation acquired two BAe 146-300QTs (3166, 3182) from ASL Airlines Spain [FATs 004332 – 4333]. Further, according to Skyliner Aviation, JOTA may also have acquired units 3168 and 3186. The sale leaves ASL with five BAe freighters at its Spanish subsidiary – or three if the second pair have also gone – all of which it plans to offload.

Australia-based JetEx acquired a BAe 146-300QT (3154) from ASL Airlines Spain, and will operate it for Qantas Freight [FATs 004300 – 4301].

Sweden-based West Atlantic sold two of its ATP freighters [FATs 004334 – 4335] to Kenya-based EnComm Ltd. Other than Indonesia-based Deraya Air Taxi (which operates just two), West Atlantic has long been the world’s only operator of the freighter version of BAe’s twin-turboprop ATP aircraft. West Atlantic has thirty-one ATPFs, but, with its customers increasingly looking for larger freighters to serve intra-Europe routes, only fourteen are currently in service. Last year, CEO Frederik Groth said the company would reduce the “carrying costs for a parked fleet” by trying to find homes for the ATPFs outside of Europe. The sale of the two units to Kenya-based EnComm Ltd, “marks the first step in reallocating our ATP aircraft portfolio into markets and geographies that can capitalize in full on the benefits of this efficient turboprop.”

Interested in learning more about the future of the worldwide freighter fleet? Then join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2018, where our sister company Air Cargo Management Group will release the 2018 edition of its “Twenty Year Freighter Forecast.

Cargo Facts Asia will be held 23-25 April, at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai. For more information, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com

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