Uni-Top to enter US ops with Wuhan-Chicago 747F service

Caryn Livingston

A Uni-Top 747-200F loading.

Chinese carrier Uni-Top Airlines is seeking permission for three-times-weekly scheduled cargo operations between Wuhan (WUH) and Chicago (ORD) using 747-400Fs, according to a filing with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The scheduled freighter operations would begin in late 2019, according to the filing. The carrier estimates expected cargo transported during the first year of operations would reach about 24,000 tonnes. Uni-Top also said it expects the load factor for the WUH-ORD flights to average about 77.5%.

Among its major clients, Uni-Top listed shippers including Huawei, Xiaomi, Transsion, Foxconn, ZTE, OPPO, VIVO, HP, Dell and Lenovo. Major forwarder clients include DHL, DB Schenker, Kuehne + Nagel, Dimerco, Agility, CEVA Logistics, Nippon Express, Panalpina and Sinotrans.

Uni-Top Airlines is based at WUH and has other operational centers in Shenzhen (SZS), Kunming (KMG) and Tianjin (TSN). According to the filing, 13 freighters operate on behalf of Uni-Top – three 747-200Fs, seven A300-600Fs and three ACMI-leased 747-400Fs. The carrier plans to have 16 freighters by 2020 and to introduce six additional aircraft per year from 2021-2023 to grow its fleet to more than 34 units by 2023.

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