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- MSC Air Cargo is preparing to start its weekly service early, with some flights beginning this December, according to a timetable notice on the airline’s website.
- The air carrier will offer connections between Mexico City (MEX), Indianapolis (IND), Frankfurt (HHN) and Hong Kong (HKG). An additional service between HKG and Anchorage (ANC) en route to the MEX is also listed in the December timetable.
- “Our first of four 777-200Fs has just rolled off the assembly line and is ready to operate our first round-the-world service starting in December,” the airline said in its flight schedule announcement.
MSC Air Cargo announced in September that it would launch its air cargo service following the delivery of four 777-200F aircraft, all operated by Atlas Air, in 2023. But with the arrival of the first aircraft in November, things are moving a little faster in the shipping company’s new air freight division.
In anticipation of its fourth-quarter arrival, MSC’s 777-200F aircraft is currently undergoing flight tests at Washington’s Paine Field (PAE), according to a recent post on Planespotters.net. According to flight tracking software Flightradar24, the plane flew between PAE and Grant County International Airport (MWH) on November 15.
The remaining four 777-220F aircraft are expected to be delivered during 2023. MSC did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.
Pandemic-related demand spikes, strained capacity and ongoing disruptions in ocean shipping have prompted shippers to shift modally and encouraged ocean carriers to expand into air freight. Other ocean freight companies expanding their air freight operations include CMA CGM Air Cargo, founded in 2021, which forged a 10-year partnership with Air France-KLM Cargo earlier this year.
CMA CGM Air Cargo’s recent aircraft deliveries include two 777Fs, which arrived in June, according to Planespotters.net. According to Flightradar24, the two 777 freighters have been flying between Paris (CDG) and HKG since September.
Meanwhile, Maersk Air Cargo launched two weekly 767F flights between Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) and Incheon Airport (ICN) in late October.