Archive News - 2008
First update of the year, have not been much to say for a while. Returned from the USA on Feb 6th to see World MD11 N803DE at Gatwick. It turns out that it was operating for Air Namibia who have agreed a 2 month deal with World operating Windhoek to Gatwick/Frankfurt alongside an A340. Because of alternating schedules, the aircraft in practice should alternate week to week Gatwick to Frankfurt. The 3 MD11's World have from Delta are all due to go to UPS by the Summer 08 with '801' already gone from Worlds fleet.
Taken trough the window of a Delta 767 is World MD11 N803DE at Gatwick on 6th Feb, now devoid of World Airways titles and operating for Air Namibia. (photo courtesy of Chris Hopkins)
Summer 2008 schedules update today. No real surprises, KLM MD11's return to Vancouver and Delhi this Summer and Finnairs only change is Hong Kong going to an A340.
World MD11 N803DE operated its last flight for Air Namibia on the 20/21st March and indeed its last passenger flight. Arriving in London Gatwick from Windhoek on SW385, several hours later it flew out as WOA9200 empty to Taipei,a flight of some 14 hrs, being returned to the lessor before flying to Singapore for freighter conversion. It is to be converted to freighter and will join sister ships from World 801 and 802 with UPS.
Aeroflots second MD11F N702BC (VP-BDQ) is in full colours and curretly at Helsinki prior to delivery. The first, VP-BDP is finnished but not in service yet awaiting approval from the Russian DOT.
N278WA at Houston in early February Photo courtesy of Tim Bryan
Aeroflots first MD11 still awaits entry in service. Apparenty the Russian DOT prevent airlines using Wwestern equipment older than 15 years. Aeroflot are not happy with this )though one assumes they must of been aware of the fact). They are to take litigation against the DOT to get the matter solved!
Eva Cargo's flight to London Heathrow, BR677 is now a booked a B747 for the Summer so no more MD11's to the capital's main airport. However, today 13th April will see the 2 Saudi v.i.p aircaft in. HZ-HM7 arrived last night 12/04 and is due out at 1435 whilst sister HZ-AFAS is due in at 1415. I 've not seen it since its repaint and re-reg so will go up and try and get a picture though our fine British weather will probably put paid to that!
Phoenix models now do a very nice 1;400 scale model of the prototype MD11 N111MD. They also do N311MD in house colours too. They are at; www.phoenix-model.net/revamp2007/index.html. I usually buy my models on ebay. I had a quick look and can't see one at this time but they are available from www.adamjets.com.
June 27th 08;
Aeroflot Cargo have taken delivery on their first 2 MD11's. The first flight was flown from Helsinki to Moscow and return on June 4th and on 15th June services commenced 3 x weekly Frankfurt Hahn to Hong Long via Moscow and Almaty with VP-BDQ. 3 MD11F's should be in service this year.
World Airways have signed contract extensions for MD11 operations with both Sonair and Lufthansa Cargo. Sonair's extensions is for another year (i believe they have an A340 on order) and Lufthansa's for 15 months. The Lufthansa contract is for 3 aircraft operating Europe to the USA.
Gemini Air Cargo have entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in 2 years-lets hope they emerge unscathed. Operations are continuing at this time.
Shanghai Cargo have taken delivery on another MD11F from Eva Air. B-16106 is now re-registered as B-2179 and is the fourth MD11 the airline have, all 4 coming from Eva.
35 out of 38 MD11's are in service with UPS now. The remainding 3 aircraft are N801/803/804DE from World Airways and are in the process of freighter conversion at Singpaore. They will become N294/295/296UP.
Varig Log's 2 MD11F's are currently stored after the carrier has cut back most international cargo services. PR-LGD is at Miami and PR-LGE at Sao Paolo.
The 4 Transmile MD11's have seen little use since early April with the company reportedly in financial difficulties and the aircraft parked at thier base in Kuala Lumpur. An EGM was called for 18th June or after the AGM whichever was later but i haven't seen any results posted yet. Hopefully they can resolve any diffulties and keep flying.
9M-TGR seen at Kuala Lumpur SZB on 1st June 08. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Teh).
With the current economic climate, several airlines are struggling, including cargo operators, none more so than Gemini Air Cargo who ceased operations on 12th August. Their 4 MD11's are now at Goodyear, AZ. All 4 are leased, 2 from GECAS and 2 from Aercap. It is rumoured the 2 GECAS machines (701/702GC) will go to World Airways.
Transmiles 4 MD11's are still stored at Kuala Lumpur's Subang airport, no word on thier future as yet.
Alitalia Cargo are considering selling thier 5 MD11's to help reduce thier spiralling debts
VP-BDQ pictured on finals to Frankfurt Hahn on 21st June. (photo Courtesy of Markus Braun)
PT-MSI has left TAM's fleet after its first B777 has been delivered. It has flown to Venice for freighter conversion and a new life with Aeroflot. PT-MSH/J continue to operate for TAM but only JJ8096/8097 Sao Paolo-Paris CDG vv. The Sao Paolo-Milan service JJ8060/8061 is now B767 operated.
UPS have recieved their final MD11F after conversion in Singapore by Singapore Technologies Aerospace. N296UP cn 48474 was a former Delta/World Airways aircraft and becomes the airlines 38th MD11F.
Fedex's Paris-Manchester-Memphis 4x weekly service finnished at the end of August meaning its just London's Stansted airport that now see's Fedex MD's in the UK.
Alitalia have put 2 of its MD11SF's into store-EI-UPO/UPU. The other 3 will continue to operate to a reduced network, flying to JFK, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Delhi.
Winter services start Sunday 26th October, i am currently working on updating the schedules pages but for Winter 2008/09 KLM will fly MD11's to Tehran, San Francisco, Montreal, Hyderabad, Aruba, Quito, Curacao and Panama City.
Worryingly, there are currently 12 MD11F's in store around teh world - The 4 Transmile's at Kuala Lumpur Subang, the 4 Gemini Cargo at Goodyear,AZ, 2 Alitalia at Rome and 2 Varig, 1 each at Miami and Sao Paolo - hopefully they'll find new life somewhere soon although the currect global financial crisis must be hurting some airlines.
3/8 MD11's for Aeroflot are now in service. The next 2 are N747BC (PT-MSH) from TAM which is now at Venice awaiting conversion and OH-LGC when it finnishes with Finnair in November 08.
KLM's interior refurbishment of the MD11's should be complete by the end of this year. All 10 now have 3-3-3 config in economy. Half the fleet has the new business class seats as well and seat back (ptv's) IFE in economy class (KCC/E/F/G/I) with the rest being fitted by the end of 2008. I never though i'd see MD11's with seat back TV's so well done to KLM for spending the time and money to get good use out of them for the next 6 or so years!
We could have another new MD11 operator with news that Miami based Centurion Air Cargo air looking at getting 1 MD11F - should be no problem as there are currently 12 stored in various places, my guess would be one of the Gemini machines from Goodyear, watch this space!
I had to get a new guestbook today as the previous has finnished. It is up and running so please sign the new one!
World Airwyas have signed contracts to operate freight flights for both air France and Allied Air. 1 MD11 will operate from Paris to North Africa and Brazil for Air France and another from Ostend to Nigeria and Kenya for Nigerian based Allied Air. They are also looking to acquire another MD11F, former Gemini Cargo machine cn 48435 N702GC which is in store at Goodyear, AZ.
Centurion Cargo's first MD11 is likely to be another former Gemini machine, cn 48434 N701GC
I've been away for 2 weeks, spotting trip around the Far East. Saw my first MD11's of Aeroflot and Shanghai arlines, both in Hong Kong but no pictures i'm afraid. Some news whilst i've been away;
World Airways are taking 3 of the 4 Gemini MD11's stored at Goodyear. N702/703/705GC will become N382/383/384WA respectively. The fourth, N701GC is still destined for Centurion.
Fedex are to take 2 more MD11's.They will be converted passenger examples when they finnish service with TAM. PT-MSH/MSJ will become N573/572FE respectively.
On TAM, only PT-MSJ remains in service, probably until the end of November. It is still flying to Paris afaik. PT-MSI is still destined for Aerofot Cargo.
EI-UPU of Alitalia Cargo is back in service, leaving only 'UPO' currently stored. ALIS (Alcide Leali Intesa S.Paolo) who purchased Alitalia Cargo at the end of October will take all 5 Alitalia Cargo MD11's, probaly at the end of 2008 and until new A330 freighters arrive early 2010
The first Finnair MD11 has retired from passenger service. OH-LGC has flown to Singapore for freighter conversion and a new life with Aeroflot. Finnair's MD11's should be operating until 2010 and are being replaced by Airbus 330/340's.
Eva MD11's return to Heathrow for the Winter, operating the Saturday flight.
Not exactly fleet news but if some of you collect the die cast metal models, you'll be pleased to know there are 2 more available. Gemini jets now do an Aeroflot MD11F VP-BDP and Phoenix do corporate Asaco MD11 HZ-AFAS. I have just bought both of these on ebay - there is plenty of other MD11 parafinalia on ebay at present too.
Centurion's first MD11F is now painted, looks very smart i reckon. N701GC is pictured at the carriers base in Miami, Florida recently. (Many Thanks to Roberto Collazo for this picture.)
Alitalia MD11 operations ceased at the end of 2008. The new restructured Alitalia will no longer have a cargo arm. The 5 MD11SF's are owned by Pegasus Aviation and EI-UPA/E/I/O were flown to the USA early in January 2009. All are in Miami except EI-UPE which was flown to Dothan,AL. EI-UPU is still in Rome at this time.
It is hoped all 5 will go to Alis Linee Aeree for a couple of years until the carrier gets its new A330F's, watch this space for any news on that.