Shenzhen, China-based Shung Fen Airlines, commonly known as SF Airlines has taken delivery of their 50th freighter aircraft. This is a recently converted B757 passenger aircraft which
will now operate as a B757-200 freighter and might serve Chengdu soon. There, SF Express plans to expand their activities.
SF Airlines operates a mixed fleet of B737, B757 and B767 freighters on Chinese domestic parcels routes as well as inter-regional destinations in the Far East. The carrier is said to also have
two B747 freighters in the planning for operation on longer haul sectors to Europe. SF Airlines is part of the SF Express Group and has grown their fleet from ten aircraft in 2012 to today’s 50
Late last week SF Express announced that their mother company SF Holdings have signed a joint venture agreement with the Chengdu Municipal Government and the Sichuan Airport Group which will
allow SF Express to develop a new cargo hub at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport.
Eying central China
SF Express who already operate large air freight hubs at Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen airports plan that the Chengdu facility will be developed to expand their operations in the area which is
said to become more important in the future for the company. It has so far not been revealed how much the new hub will cost or when it is expected to become fully operational.
Chengdu, located in central China’s Sichuan province, is the country’s fourth largest aviation hub, served by many Chinese and international airlines such as Air China, Sichuan Airlines, KLM,
Etihad, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian, and All Nippon Airways.
However, due to its capacity limitations a new airport capable of handling 40 million passengers and 700,000 tons of cargo by 2025 is currently being built. Once operational in 2020, most
international passenger and cargo flights will translocate from Chengdu Shuangliu to the new hub named Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, located 50 kilometers from downtown Chengdu.
According to long-term plans, up to six runways will be built, enabling the yearly throughput of 2 million tons of cargo and the handling of 90 million passengers.
John Mc Donagh