Impact Publications : AirCargo_245
Page 16 • AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • OCT-NOVEMBER 2016 BAE146s and Avro RJs are finding extended opportunities in freight BAe 146 and Avro rJ regional jets that are now starting to come out of mainland european airline service are steadily find- ing new operators, markets and applications. Demonstrating the flexibility and economic attractiveness of the aircraft, the new oper- ators/applications for the aircraft include an overnight freight operation in Australia, an es- tablished airline in Africa, a new start-up airline operator in the Caribbean, and further aircraft for aerial fire-fighting roles in North America. some 220 BAe 146/Avro RJs remain in ser- vice, fully supported by BAE systems Region- al Aircraft – the Original Equipment Manu- facturer. More than 12 million flight hours of service have been accumulated. John stevens, head of Customer support for BAE systems Regional Aircraft speaking at the recent European Regions Airlines General Assembly in Madrid said: “We strongly believe that this aircraft has many years of productive service yet to offer. In addition to continuing to support all our customers and, particular- ly in Europe, playing a constructive role in helping them to transition from our aircraft to newer types, we work to help introduce the aircraft to new market applications through our extensive and specialist engineering capabilities. BAE systems can provide a total support package for at least a 15-20 year period.” Over the past few months, three previous- ly operated European BAe 146s have been placed with new operators in Australia and the usA. Two of these aircraft are BAe 146- 200QT freighters, previously operated by AsL Aviation Group on behalf of the FedEx-TNT combination. They have been sold to Pionair of sydney, Australia, which recently started overnight freight services on behalf of Virgin Australia, under a five-year us$575 million contract from TNT Express. The aircraft fly dedicated Eastern sea- board routes with one aircraft routing Cairns-Brisbane-sydney-Melbourne to Adelaide and the second in the reverse direction but with the addition of Townsville, slotted in between Brisbane and Cairns. The BAe 146 is still the only jet allowed to operate at both sydney and Ad- elaide during airport curfew hours and at around 10 tonnes freight, payload is the right size for the job. In the us, an ex-Bulgarian Airlines BAe 146-200 has recently been acquired by Neptune Aviation services of Missoula, Montana and will be converted for an aerial fire-fighting role ready for the 2017 fire season. Delivered in late september, this aircraft joined seven other series 200s in Neptune service that have had a busy year in the Western united states. On one very busy day, Neptune reports that one of their aircraft flew 18 sorties. All told, 20 BAe 146/Avro RJs are now operating or being converted for a fire-fighting role with three North American operators. In addition to Neptune Aviation services, Conair of Abbotsford, Canada and its Aero Flite subsidiary in the usA have seven RJ85s, while the first of five BAe 146-200s being converted by Air spray of Chico, California is expected to be rolled out before the end of the year.