In 1988, TNT Airways as we know it today hadn’t actually been formed yet, but the express company was already taking to the air and had a some help from Air Foyle (U.K.) and, as one of these BAe 146s indicates, Malev of Hungary. Indeed, air operations had begun in 1979 but were not as quick to mature into a well-known name as FedEx was in the United States. Cargo Facts reported in April, 1987, that TNT had just ordered two additional BAe 146 Freighters to compliment the first one it had already received. Within a couple of years, this number had expanded to the ten freighters seen here.
The original ten BAe 146s are seen here at Cologne-Bonn Airport (CGN), along with a myriad of other types. In fact, there’s really something for everyone here – closest to the 146s are a Fokker F-27, a UPS-liveried Douglas DC-8-60, a Hawker-Siddeley HS748, and a Hunting Cargo Vickers Vanguard.
Behind these, at the passenger terminal and the parking pad nearby, are two more F-27’s plus an Embraer 120 and, of all things, a Cubana-liveried Ilyushin IL-62.
TNT’s history and the varied types aren’t the only significant thing on display here either – The Malev-TNT cooperation marked the arrival of western Aircraft types at the Hungarian flag carrier. The BAe 146 was Malev’s first western Aircraft in many decades and began the transition away from Russian-built metal – at the time the Tupolev Tu-154 was Malev’s mainstay.