MSC Air Cargo postpones launch date for global freighter service

Ocean freight company Mediterranean Shipping Co. will begin freighter service in early December, earlier than previously announced.

A new air schedule published on the company’s website shows that MSC Air Cargo will begin weekly round-the-world flights in early December using a Boeing 777 Freighter. When the company announced in September it would set up a cargo airline to support customers with extensive logistics capabilities, it said commercial service would begin in early 2023.

MSC will lease four 777-200s from Atlas Air (NASDAQ: AAWW), which will also operate the aircraft under a long-term contract. Atlas Air ordered four 777-200s from Boeing (NYSE: BA) in January, and according to MSC’s flight schedule, one of those planes has now been delivered. The remaining aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2023.

According to planespotter Jen Schuld on Twitter and flight tracking site Flightradar24, the plane is undergoing flight testing at Washington’s Paine Field Airport.

The MSC cargo jet flies twice a week from Mexico City to Indianapolis and then to Frankfurt, Germany, and once a week from Germany to Hong Kong and back to Mexico City via Anchorage, Alaska.

Jannie Davel, a former Emirates SkyCargo and DHL executive who most recently served as Managing Director-Commercial in the cargo division of Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), leads the air cargo business for MSC.

MSC is the latest shipping company to enter the air cargo industry, joining Maersk, CMA CGM and some Asian airlines that have been in air cargo for a long time. The newest entrants are using the huge profits from their ocean deals to expand into other parts of the supply chain.

Air Cargo World was the first to report MSC’s updated plans.

Click here to read more reports on FreightWaves/American Shipper by Eric Kulisch.

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