SF Airlines set for US market expansion

By Damian Brett

China-based express carrier SF Airlines is set to add services to the US after gaining approval for flights from the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Late last week, the DOT gave the airline permission to offer scheduled transportation of property and mail from any points in China to the US and beyond via any intermediate points. It can also offer cargo charter services between the two countries.

SF first applied for permission to operate the flights in May of this year and the approval will last until December 4, 2020.

In its application, the carrier said it hoped to operate a three-times-per-week scheduled freighter service between its Hangzhou hub and New York.

Although the flights will be the first flown to the US directly by the airline, it does currently offer capacity through an ACMI deal with Atlas Air.

The airline has been expanding rapidly over recent years and in September it added services to Europe for the first time.

In November, it added a second flight to India to cater for e-commerce demand.

SF Airlines operates two B747-400ERF aircraft, part of a 57-strong freighter fleet that is the largest in China.

SF Airlines purchased its two B747-400Fs through through an online auction on the Alibaba-owned website, Taobao, in 2017.

It also has plans to develop its own air cargo airport in Ezhou, China.


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