Atlas Air to operate 747F for SF Express on trans-Pacific routes

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings’ subsidiary Atlas Air recently inked a new ACMI lease agreement with SF Express to operate a 747-400F on trans-Pacific routes for the express carrier. The deal, which will commence in October, will expand the Shenzen-based SF Express network into the trans-Pacific market.

SF Express has traditionally operated a fleet of narrowbody aircraft, fulfilling the role of integrator – like FedEx or UPS – for the East Asian market. It made its first move toward redefining its brand as a regional carrier with the purchase of two 747Fs in fall of 2017. This recent partnership with Atlas Air underpins its intent to capitalize on the demand for cross-border trade between China and the United States.

The deal comes at a somewhat complex time for international trade, with peak season dead ahead and new Trump-era trade tariffs tacking on extra transportation costs for logistics companies linked through the trans-Pacific supply chain.

Regardless of any simmering tensions, industry leaders said they anticipate a busy peak – FedEx’s CEO Fred Smith said that he anticipates a “record-breaking” season in terms of volume in the company’s Q1 2019 conference call earlier this week.

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