- MSC Air Cargo is preparing to launch its weekly service ahead of schedule, with some flights starting this December, according to a schedule notice on the carrier’s website.
- The air carrier will operate services connecting Mexico City (MEX), Indianapolis (IND), Frankfurt (HHN) and Hong Kong (HKG). An additional connection between HKG and Anchorage (ANC) on the way to MEX is also listed on the December schedule.
- “Our first of four 777-200F is fresh off the line and ready to operate our inaugural round-the-world service” beginning in December, the air cargo carrier said in its schedule notice.
MSC Air Cargo had said in September it anticipated launching its air cargo service in 2023 following the delivery of four 777-200F aircraft, all of which will be operated by Atlas Air. But with the first aircraft arriving in November, the new air freight arm of the ocean shipping company is moving a little faster.
In anticipation of its Q4 arrival, MSC’s 777-200F aircraft is currently undergoing flight tests at Paine Field Airport (PAE) in Washington, according to a recent post on Planespotters.net. On Nov. 15 the aircraft flew between PAE and Grant County International Airport (MWH), according to flight tracking software, Flightradar24.
The remainder of the four 777-220F aircraft are expected to be delivered throughout 2023. MSC did not reply to a request for comment ahead of publication.
Pandemic-driven spikes in demand, strained capacity and ongoing disruptions in ocean shipping has spurred modal shifts from shippers, encouraging maritime carriers to expand into air freight. Other ocean carriers growing their air freight operations include CMA CGM Air Cargo, established in 2021, which secured a 10-year partnership with Air France-KLM Cargo earlier this year.
CMA CGM Air Cargo's most recent aircraft deliveries include two 777Fs which arrived in June, according to Planespotters.net. The two 777 freighters have been operating flights between Paris (CDG) and HKG since September, according to Flightradar24.
Meanwhile, Maersk Air Cargo launched two weekly 767F flights between Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) and Incheon Airport (ICN) in late October.