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JUL 12
Vol. 39, No. 7B
Eastern Air Logistics hints at more 777Fs for China Cargo Airlines 
Eastern Air Logistics (EAL) plans to expand the fleet of its subsidiary China Cargo Airlines with more 777Fs, according to the prospectus the company filed for an initial public offering (IPO). EAL also intends to buy more spare engines for its 777Fs.

In a sign of confidence in the 777 platform, EAL said that, given the positive prospects of a rapidly growing market, it would renew the leases on its six current 777Fs upon expiry for an additional six years and expand the fleet further with more 777Fs. It declined to comment on a number or a timeline.

China Cargo Airlines’ fleet consists of three 747-400Fs and six 777Fs. The 777Fs (37711, 37713, 37714, 37715, 37716 and 37717) were all delivered between February 2010 and July 2011. Of these six, one (37713) is on an eighteen-year operating lease while the other five are on twelve-year operating leases, according to the prospectus. One of the 747Fs (28263, ex-Great Wall Airlines) is on a nine-year operating lease from GECAS, while another (35208) is on a twelve-year financial lease from SNC Ali Finance and a third (35207) is owned.

As its 777F fleet grows, EAL said that, in order to minimize engine-related aircraft-on-ground (AOG) incidents and to maintain the stability and safety of its operations, part of the capital raised from the IPO would go toward the purchase of two spare GE90 engines, costing US$30 million each. The company expects to pay a total of approximately US$65 million, taking into account other costs such as installation, and estimates the whole process to take about two years, from preparatory work through placing the order to production, testing and delivery. EAL already has one spare GE90, which it acquired in 2012.

EAL was a wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines until February 2017, when China Eastern completed the transfer of a 100% equity interest to Eastern Airlines Industry Investment Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Air Holding Co., which is itself the controlling shareholder of China Eastern.
Titan Airways expects first A321P2F by year-end 2020
U.K.-based Titan Airways told Cargo Facts that it expects to take redelivery of its first A321P2F at the end of 2020. The aircraft will be leased from BBAM, which signed a letter of intent with EFW for one A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion just last month at the Paris Air Show [FAT 005020].

In addition, Titan plans to introduce at least two more A321P2Fs in the next two years but hasn’t yet decided whether to lease these or convert its own A321-200s, of which there are three (3708, 3749 and 3830). However, given that Titan recently completed a full cabin refurbishment on these three frames, which are all just slightly over ten years old, the company might not wish to withdraw them from its passenger ACMI operation so soon.

Luxembourg-based Vallair is the launch customer for both EFW’s A321P2F program and 321 Precision Conversions’ A321PCF program, which are scheduled to begin redeliveries in the first quarter of next year.

ANA Cargo begins flying second 777F

ANA Cargo said that its second 777F (65757), which was delivered and ferried to Tokyo Haneda (HND) a month ago, is now ready for service and that it would be deploying this frame from July 9. Flight tracking data shows that this is indeed the case, with unit 65757 having departed Tokyo Narita (NRT) for Osaka (KIX) just before 22:00 local time.

The carrier began operating its first 777F (65756) on July 2, after that aircraft was delivered from Victorville (VCV) to HND in May. ANA told Cargo Facts that unit 65756 has had a smooth first week of operations and that ANA is satisfied with its performance. A 777F is scheduled to fly NRT-KIX-Shanghai (PVG)-NRT five times per week. According to ANA Cargo, it carried mostly consolidated freight during the first week of 777F flights on the route, including electric components, machine parts and textiles.

ANA is still on track to begin flying the 777F on the carrier’s first own-operated trans-Pacific freighter route to Chicago (ORD) starting this October.

The carrier added that it does not have plans to place any orders for more 777Fs for the time being. Given that cargo moving between China and the U.S. is a major source of traffic for the carrier, and with the outcome of the current trade conflicts between the two countries in flux, Cargo Facts isn’t surprised. Still, we would still expect to see more 777Fs joining ANA’s fleet in the longer term, alongside the current two 777Fs and twelve 767-300Fs.
Fourth Amazon Air 737-800BCF joins fleet in Tampa
After making its debut at the Paris Air Show last month, the fourth 737-800BCF (32663, ex-Jet Airways) on lease from GECAS was ferried this week from Jacksonville (VQQ) to Tampa Airport (TPA), where it will join Amazon Air’s growing 737F fleet operated by Atlas Air Worldwide’s Southern Air subsidiary [FAT 005043].

TPA is one of several airports with growing Amazon footprints. As reported by our sister publication, Air Cargo World, Atlas Air received local approval to lease United Airlines’ former facilities at TPA earlier this year – most likely in preparation for 737-800BCF ops from the airport. Flight tracking data shows the Amazon 737Fs currently operating from TPA to Chicago Rockford (RFD) and on to other Amazon gateway airports including Portland International (PDX) and Houston International (IAH).

See also: Amazon airports Chicago Rockford, Alliance Fort Worth among FAA grant recipients

Other 737-800BCFs already in operation for the e-tail giant include units 32882, ex-China Southern Airlines; 32611, ex-Guizhou Airlines; and 32884, ex-China Southern. The aircraft likely to round out the five-unit order that launched Amazon Air’s narrowbody operations – unit 32579, ex-Jet Airways – was inducted by Boeing at the STAECO facility in Jinan in April.

Amazon has also committed to lease at least another fifteen 737-800BCFs from GECAS, for delivery by 2021. Whether Southern Air will also operate the remainder of the committed narrowbody order remains to be seen, but Amazon still retains options with Southern Air for the operation of all fifteen.
Recent freighter aircraft transactions: 
Boeing redelivered a 767-300BCF (35229, ex-LATAM Airlines Argentina) to LATAM Cargo [FAT 005039]. The aircraft had been at the Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT) in Taipei (TPE) since February 2019 and was flown from TPE to Bogota (BOG) via Los Angeles (LAX). 

My Indo Airlines added its first 737-400F (24559, ex-AsiaCargo Express) [FAT 005040]. 

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. redelivered a 737-400SF (25853, ex-British Airways) to Titan Airways, on lease from Automatic [FAT 005041-005042]. The aircraft was ferried from the Commercial Jet facility in Dothran, Alabama (DHN) to Stansted (STN) via Montreal (YMX) and Reykjavik (KEF). 
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