In the near future, Istanbul-based MNG Cargo will take delivery of its first new-build freighter, the A330-200F seen here (msn: 1332, future registration TC-MCZ). This is a significant step for MNG, which has previously operated only converted or previously-owned equipment.
The Airbus A300 has formed the backbone of MNG’s fleet for many years – and the carrier has five active A300s, a combination of three A300-200Fs – two A300B4-203s and one example of the very rare A300C4. The A2300 fleet is rounded out by two newer A300-600Fs, both originally built as freighters for defunct Belgian carrier CityBird.
The single A300C4-203, equipped with a large cargo door at the factory for original customer South African Airways, is operated by MNG for Ceiba Intercontinental of Equatorial Guinea. MNG also operates a single 737-400SF converted by AEI. Two more A300s are stored. MNG also operates a small number of Fokker F-27 and Antonov AN-26 freighters.
MNG also operated passenger flights with A300s, 737-400s, and MD-80s from 1997 to 2006, and also has a single Bombardier Challenger 600 for VIP/Charter work.
MNG’s route network revolves around using the freighters on regional routes connecting at Istanbul. Major scheduled destinations include London (Luton), Cologne, Almaty (Kazakhstan), and Shanghai. There is also a sizeable amount of charter work to destinations throughout Central Asia, North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. MNG lists FedEx, DHL, UPS, TAP Portugal, Emirates, and Qatar as “partners.”
With other A330-200Fs seeing duty on regional routes in Asia (via Hong Kong Airlines, Yangtze River Express, and MASKargo) and the Middle East (Turkish and Etihad), MNG should be well positioned to get the most out of the new aircraft – the first of four on order.
The new A330 was captured here on approach to Toulouse-Blagnac, on a test flight, by contributor Olivier Gregoire.
© Photographer: Olivier Gregoire. This photo may not be used without the express permission of Olivier Gregoire. To see more of Olivier’s excellent aviation photos, click here.