National Air Cargo buys three former Cathay freighters

NATIONAL Air Cargo is to buy three ex-Cathay Pacific 747-400 Boeing converted freighters

24 July 2019 - 19:00

NATIONAL Air Cargo is to buy three ex-Cathay Pacific 747-400 Boeing converted freighters. The first freighter is expected to enter the fleet in August, the second towards the end of the year and the third by the second quarter of 2020.

The extra aircraft would provide support for 'aircraft on ground' (AOG) issues, National Air Cargo's director of commercial operations Jacob Chacko told AsiaCargoBuzz.

'They will be a game-changer in terms of our consistency,' he was quoted as saying. 'It's a phased approach, we don't want it to come all at once. And of course, we're keeping a close eye on the China-US the trade issue.'

The aircraft, which are between 25 and 28 years old, were returned to Boeing by Cathay Pacific in 2013 and acquired by National between March and May this year. National also has an Airbus A330-200 scheduled to enter its fleet, which currently consists of two 747-400BCFs and one B757.

Cathay Pacific has no need of extra freighter capacity at the moment, after the carrier along with sister airline Cathay Dragon saw combined cargo tonnage drop 9.1 per cent year on year in June, with load factors down 7.8 percentage points to 62.8 per cent. Capacity rose by 1.5 per cent, while freight tonne kilometres decreased by 9.7 per cent. In the first half of the year, tonnage was down 5.7 per cent against a 1.1 per cent rise in capacity and a 6.1 per cent drop in FTK, reported UK's The Loadstar.

Cargo director Ronald Lam was quoted as saying: 'On the cargo side, weakening market sentiment has been impacting our tonnage uplift and yield.

'With the exception of the Americas, northeast Asia and mainland China, which had a marginal increase in uplift compared with May, overall volume has seen decline against the previous month and year, with only a short-lived recovery from Asia towards the latter half of June.

'The outlook for the coming months has no sign of volume rebound. We shall further our efforts to maintain a healthy market share by working closely with our forwarders and shippers, and further rationalise our freighter capacity to better match demand.'


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