AirAsia is growing its presence in the cargo market, expanding the fleet of its dedicated cargo subsidiary Teleport by three full freighters. Teleport will add three converted Airbus A321P2Fs next year, with the first to join the airline in Q1. AirAsia grows Teleport’s fleet with three A321P2Fs.
Teleport launched services in November 2021 with a single Boeing 737-800BCF that is operated by K-Mile. Although Teleport’s delivery volumes grew in Q2 by 630 percent to 1.15 million, volumes were actually down by 27 percent to 22.1 tonnes and revenues -39 percent to RMB 98.9 million. The company leans heavily on belly capacity in AirAsia’s 200+ aircraft and is hoping to improve results in HY2 as international traffic in Asia recovers.
The addition of three freighters will give Teleport more leverage. The A321P2Fs will be sourced from lessor BBAM, which already has leased two of these aircraft on long-term lease to Lufthansa Cargo. AirAsia doesn’t say if the aircraft will come from its own fleet and will be converted under BBAM contracts or if they come from BBAM’s own portfolio of 56 A321s. Each A321P2F can carry up to 28 tonnes of cargo and offers fourteen container positions on the main deck, plus ten container positions in the belly hold.
In a media statement, Teleport CEO Pete Chareonwongsak says: “It is a timely and strategic move on our part to complement our exclusive AirAsia passenger belly planes with a freighter network to expand and reinforce our increased capacity for key markets like China and India into Asean. The combined fleet approach with multi-hub freighter and belly operations will give us a unique “many to many” network advantage to serve our customers in this region.”
Teleport has been witnessing strong growth in e-commerce. In its Q2 report, it said that an e-commerce partner accounted for ten percent of Teleport’s delivery volume. Chareonwongsak confirms the importance of this segment: “E-commerce continues to be the main force propelling air cargo growth around the region and here at Teleport, especially with key growth in segments like international cross border e-commerce and express shipping.”
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.