China’s SF Airlines made its maiden flight to Europe with its B747-400ERF on 15 September, kicking off its first intercontinental route operated with its own aircraft. The flight departed Wuxi (WUX) with a stop in Chongqing (CKG) before flying to Hahn International Airport (HHN) in Frankfurt, Germany.
“This marks the official opening of SF Airlines’ first intercontinental cargo route Wuxi-Chongqing-Hahn-Wuxi,” notes KerSoon Ang, director & global head, Partnerships, International Region at S.F. Express in a social media post.
“After the normalisation of this route, not only it can provide over 600 tonnes of cross-border transportation capacity for SF domestic and European international business every week, but also promotes the construction of a modern aviation logistics system in Wuxi and Chongqing,” Ang adds.
The route is the longest (9,540 km) operated by SF Airlines. Shenzhen-based SF Express is the second largest courier in China and provides domestic and international express delivery. SF Express has a fleet of 50 freighters – including 27 B757, 17 B737, five B767 and one B747 – which are owned by its subsidiary SF Airlines.
SF Airlines took redelivery of the B747-400ERF in end-October last year. The freighter had undergone heavy maintenance after SF Airlines famously won two ex-Jade Cargo 747Fs via an online auction on Alibaba’s Taobao online marketplace in December 2017.
The status of SF’s other ex-Jade 747-400ERF is unclear but reports say it is parked at Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG). SF also leases B747-400 freighter transpacific capacity from Atlas Air on an ACMI basis.