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Archive News - 2009

January 19th 2009;

First update of the new year and quite a bit to get through. Some registration changes first;

cn 48408 PR-LGD is now N408SH and stored at Miami
cn 48411 N703GC is now N382WA World Airways
cn 48412 N705GC is now N383WA World Airways
cn 48435 N702GC is now N384WA World Airways
cn 48512 OH-LGC is now N512SU and stored at Singapore
cn 48755 PT-MSI is now N742BC and stored at Venice
cn 48758 PT-MSH is now N730BC and stored at Venice
cn 48769 PT-MSJ is now N746BC and Stored at Venice

Aeroflot Cargo now have 3 MD11's in service out of 7 ordered, VP-BDP/Q/R are in traffic. The remaining 4 are coming from Finnair (3) and Tam (1).

Ethiopian Airlines are 2 acquire 2 MD11F's in 2009. Not sure of the i.d of the 2 aircraft at this stage but cn 48758 (former TAM PT-MSI) is believed to be the first. It is currently at Venice for freighter conversion, thought originally to be for Aeroflot Cargo. The other 2 former TAM MD11's also at Venice do not currently have a new customer so i guess it would make sense for these to go to Ethiopian or any 2/3.

February 5th 2009

Ethiopian Airlines recieved its first MD11F on January 31st. ET-AML cn 48758 (previously PT-MSI with TAM) was handed over at Venice after its freighter conversion and delivered to Addis Ababa. The aircraft has been bought from Boeing Co and a second MD11F will be leased, also from Boeing and due in August 2009.
Ethiopian plan to use its new MD11F on routes to Liege, Johannesburg, Lagos, Dubai, Hong Kong, Madras and Kinshasa.

February 10th 2009

Alis hopes to launch services soon with former Alitalia Cargo MD11's, see press release below;

ALIS Aerolineee Italiane SpA announced yesterday that has submitted to the Special Commissioner of Alitalia SpA, Mr Augusto Fantozzi, the final offer for the purchase of goods and transport
activities related to the "Full Cargo" division of Alitalia Group.

With this acquisition, ALIS has the aim of relaunching the Italian intercontinental air cargo transportation. This operation is part of a
comprehensive business plan in which it was already executed the acquisition of the new Airbus A330 aircraft and of Cargoitalia Spa,
already operating with its homebase in Malpensa.

Alcide Leali, President of ALIS, declaring "We are very busy these days to restart cargo services from Malpensa, stopped in January by Alitalia. We expect that, through the establishment of the contract with the Special Commissioner of Alitalia SpA and the arrival of the first MD11, Cargoitalia will resume as early as March flights from Malpensa airport, providing jobs and direct connection to Italian

With ALIS and Cargo Italia merging it is unclear under which brand the new operator will fly as at the moment, probably ALIS, more info when i get it.

February 28th 2009;

EI-UPU was flown from Rome to Dothan on 16th Feb to join the other 4 former Alitalia MD11's at the PEMCO facility.

ALIS/Cargoitalia are to take 3 of the 5 former Alitalia MD11's and hope to start flights on 28th March. EI-UPI will be the first to join the fleet followed by 'UPA' and 'UPU'. Initial destinations are Miami and Chicago followed by Hong Kong in June after the third aircraft arrives. It is expected that the MD11's will operate for around 2 years until the carrier gets its new A330 freighters it has on order - the first of which is scheduled for delivery in early 2011.

The other 2 former Alitalia MD11's, EI-UPE/O have been sold to an undisclosed customer, more info when i get it.

March 6th 2009;

Ethiopian Airlines MD11 ET-AML made its first flight to Europe yesterday 5th March, operating from Addis Ababa to Liege via Cairo. This should become a regular route for the type.

March 10th 2009;

Fedex are getting 2 more MD11's taking thier total to 60. N572FE is cn 48769 (ex PT-MSJ) and N573FE is cn 48755 (ex PT-MSH). Both are currently at Venice on freighter conversion and were originally destined for Aeroflot.

March 12th 2009;

Summer 2009 schedules start on 29th March. I have been going through KLM's schedules and they are quite a few alterations:

Aruba - discontinued
Curacao - changes to 747
Delhi - back to MD11
Hyderabad - discontinued
Paramibo (Suriname) - changes from 747 to MD11, new route for the MD11.
Saint Maarten - changes to 747
Vancouver - back to MD11

Routes to Quito, Panama, Montreal, and Tehran retain MD11 ops.

March 23rd 2009;

News is dominated by the Fedex MD11 crash at Tokyo's Narita yesterday. FDX 080 was arriving at NRT in strong winds when it appeared to bounce twice and flip over, bursting into flames. Sadly both crew members perished and our thoughts are with those involved. The aircraft involved was N526FE, cn 48600. It was formerly N813DE of Delta Air Lines and joined the Fedex fleet in October 2004 after freighter conversion. Tragically, this is now the third MD11 Fedex have lost in accidents with all 3 written off. A video clip of the accident from the BBC news website can be seen below.

Fedex MD11 crash in Tokyo

N526FE is seen in happier times landing at Manchester in April 2008. (Photo courtesy of Stewart Andrew)

OH-LGE has retired from service with Finnair. Its last flight was AY 90 from Bangkok on 8th March. Not sure where 'LGE' is going to at this time. Finnairs last MD11 service is planned for 1st March 2010, AY 90 from Bangkok though this could change with the economic slowdown.

March 25th 2009;

Lufthansa have placed MD11F D-ALCE in store at Leipzig. Not sure if this is just a temporary measure due to the economic slowdown or something else.

Ethiopian Airlines MD11F ET-AML visited Gatwick this evening on flight ET 3717 from Leige. This is the first visit to the UK and the first of this aircraft since its days with Varig.

March 28th 2009;

Another MD11 is now in storage, this time Eva Air have put B-16113 into store by. It was flown to Victorville, California this week .

April 8th 2009;

Lufthansa Cargo are placing a second MD11F in store, D-ALCP wil be stored at Dresden, worrying times!

April 11th 2009;

Aeroflot Cargo started a new flight MD11F service from Frankfurt Hahn to Beijing via Moscow twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Flights to Hong Kong are also up to 3 times a week with one of the return services operating via Mumbai.

Finnairs MD11 operated services are diminishing with routes to Delhi, Osaka, Bangkok and Mumbai the only remaining routes left and of these Delhi and Osaka go to airbus operation early in the Summer. They have taken delivery of thier first A330 and this is now operating to New York JFK. The final MD11 service on the route was on 5th/6th April with the honours going to OH-LGF.

World Airways MD11F N275WA suffered damage whilst landing at East Midlands (EMA) airport on Weds 08/04. It was operating for Lufthansa Cargo on flight LH8284 BRU-EMA-JFK. Strong winds and bad wether were a factor in the accident with one wing striking the ground. The aircraft stopped safely and at least one winglet was damaged. Replacent parts were being sent to EMA and the aircraft is expected to fly to Paris CDG to operate flights for Air France Cargo. Lufthansa MD11F D-ALCR was drafted in to continue on LH8284 flight to JFK.

May 29th 2009;

Pictured above is EI-UPO, now going to Centurion Air Cargo along with EI-UPU. So all 5 former Alitalia MD's will have new homes. The other 3 former Alitalia birds will join Cargo Italia (first one is delivered, see below).

EI-UPI is seen after arriving at Milan on May 7th in readiness for its new role with CargoItalia. (thanks to Gigi Pisano)

August 5th 2009;

I've been away a bit lately and with work haven't had much time to do anything so quite a few updates to get through, here goes;

Cargoitalia finally got regulatory approval from the Italian CAA in mid July. EI-UPI had a test flight shortly after and on 25th July operated the carriers first MD11 revenue service with a charter flight to Hong Kong. Scheduled services will begin in September after EI-UPE arrives (it is due to be delivered around August 8th).
Initial destinations from Milan MXP will be Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York JFK, Toronto and Abu Dhabi, all served twice weekly.
The carriers callsign will be Whitepelican and airline codes are 2G (IATA) and CRG (ICAO).

Centurions second MD11F is now in service. Formerly EI-UPO cn 48429 of Alitalia Cargo, it has now been re-registered N984AR.

Former TAM MD11 PT-MSH cn 48755 has had its freighter conversion and been re-registered N572FE. It was to have become N573FE and i don't know the reason for the change. PT-MSJ cn 48769 was to have become N572FE initially so this may well now become N573FE instead, watch this space!

Only OH-LGB/F/G are currently operating with Finnair on the daily Bangkok rotation, AY095/96. (double daily certain dates later in the year). The Helsinki/Bangkok MD11 sevice is due to finnish on February 3rd 2010 after the arrival of AY096 from BKK at 0625. Then from 03/02/10-28/02/10 an MD11 will operate AY021/022 Helsinki/Delhi with the final flight arriving Helsinki on 1st March 2010 at 1415. That will conclude nearly 20 years of MD11 operations for Finnair (unless things change between now and then).
OH-LGD/E are stored at Helsinki and for Aeroflot.
OH-LGA has left the fleet and is now N270WA with World Airways. It left Helsinki on 21st July and is pictured below shortly before its delivery flight (thanks to Mikko Gustafsson "Diizei" for the picture)

Lufthansa Cargo have placed D-ALCS into long term store at Victorville, CA. D-ALCO/P are to join it in the Autumn. All 3 are ex passenger examples and Lufthansa have found then to be quite expensive to maintain. It is not known if they will fly again. These 3 join D-ALCE which is currently stored in Germany. D-ALCP is pictured below at Amsterdam in March 2009.

KLM are operating an MD11 for Kenya Airways for a few months this Summer on a semi wet lease. Flight KQ 117 departs Amsterdam daily at 2125 to Nairobi arriving at 0635, returning as KQ116 at 0840 and back in Amsterdam at 1615. Flight crew are from KLM, cabin crew from Kenyan. Aircraft have varied but PH-KCK has been operating on it for about 2 weeks now. It is planned to finnish at the end of August when the flight should revert to Kenyans own B777's.

PR-LGE has been re-registered to N575SH and was flown from Sao Paolo to Miami at the end of June for storage, joing sister ship N408SH (PR-LGD). This ends 18 years of MD11 operations in Brazil. Both are owned by Pegasus Aviation. Hopefully they will find new homes soon.

August 18th 2009;

Pictured leaving Milan for Hong Kong is Cargoitalia MD11F EI-UPI. (Photo courtesy of Simone Coppola)

September 9th 2009;

World MD11F N380WA cn 48407 has been put into store at the carriers Atlanta base, hopefully only a temporary measure!

Cargoitalia's second MD11F EI-UPE has now been delivered to the airline.

Ethiopian Airlines have recieved their second MD11F. Formerly OH-LGE cn 48780 with Finnair, the aircraft was converted to freighter configuration and delivered. It is not known at this stage what its new registration is. Click on the link below for Ethiopian's official press release.

Ethiopian Airlines Press Release;

September 21st 2009;

Seen on finals to London Heathrow yesterday 20th September is Eva MD11F B-16107. (thanks to Tim Bryan for taking the picture for me as i didn't have my camera!)

September 26th 2009;

Looks like we have a new MD11 operator. Tradewinds have acquired an MD11F. I do not know at this stage who it is leased from/how long etc. The aircraft is former Alitalia MD11SF N986AR (EI-UPA) cn 48426. It still wears its basic Alitalia colours and carries no titles. The aircraft was originally destined for Centurion Air Cargo. Hope it gets repainted to Tradwinds colours, it'll look rather nice i reckon. They are rumoured to be getting another 2 MD11's - could well be the 2 ex Varig Log machines currently stored at Miami.

Ethiopian Airlines second MD11F is registered ET-AND cn 48780, formerly OH-LGE with Finnair. A third MD11F should join the fleet later this year.

October 15th 2009;

Lufthansa MD11F D-ALCO suffered a hard landing in Mexico City on 13th September, causing a bent nose gear structure and wrinkles to the fuselage skin. It is being evaluated to see wether it is economical to repair it or not, especially as the aircraft was due to go into storage shorlty after!

October 23rd 2009;

Finnairs last MD11 service to Bangkok is now scheduled for 8th Decmeber 2009 out from Helsinki and returning in the early hours of 10th December from Bangkok on flight AY095/096.
The final MD11 passenger service with Finnair is now scheduled for 31st January 2015 Helsinki to Delhi and 1st February 1015 Delhi to Helsinki AY021/022 bringing to an end nearly 20 years of MD11 operations in Finland. Hopefully the occasion will be suitably marked.

KLM's planned Summer 2010 MD11 operations are;

Amsterdam – Atlanta 27JUN-17JUL DAILY
Amsterdam – Bonaire – Guayaquil – Quito – Bonaire – Amsterdam M11 5 WEEKLY
Amsterdam – Delhi M11 DAILY
Amsterdam – Montreal M11 DAILY
Amsterdam – Panama City M11 5 WEEKLY
Amsterdam – Paramaribo M11 6 WEEKLY
Amsterdam – St. Maarten – Bonaire – Amsterdam M11 1 WEEKLY
Amsterdam – Tehran M11 6 WEEKLY
Amsterdam – Vancouver M11 DAILY

The Atlanta flights are to cover planned maintence on the A330 fleet, no other surprise.
Information sourced from the Airline Routes Updates website. Click the link below to check it out.

Airline Routes Website

October 27th 2009;

More good news on the MD11 front - another new operator is looming. Avient are to take former Varig Log MD11F N408SH (PR-LGD), cn 48408. The aircraft is still at Miami awaiting delivery but is now fully painted in its new colours, picture to follow soon hopefully. Avient operate freight services from Africa to the Middle East and Europe, recently moving European flights to Liege in Belgium. They also operate a DC10F.

However, a touch of bad news to follow. Centurion MD11F N701GC has been badly damaged after a hard landing in Montevideo, Uruguay. Not sure at this stage if it will be repaired, its probably too early to say. Watch this space for more info when i get it.

November 10th 2009;

Reports in the aviation press say Aeroflot Cargo are virtually bankrupt and the airline will be absolved into the mainline fleet early next year. Watch this space.

Lufthansa's Italian cargo division based at Milan Malpensa is to close after heavy losses. This involved 2 MD11F's but whilst bad news for LH could be good news for Cargoitalia whose loadings so far have been very good.

November 14th 2009;

Ethiopian MD11F ET-AML visited London's Gatwick airport last night on flight ET3715 arriving from leige and departing back to Addis Ababa. The flight is planned for the next 3 Fridays.

November 16th 2009;

Avients new MD11F at Miami after its repaint from Varig livery. (Photo courtesy of Robert Collazo)

November 28th 2009;

Tragic news Today - Avient's new MD11F, pictured above at Miami recently and now registered Z-BAV, has crashed on take off from Shanghai's Pu Dong airport early this morning. It had a crew of 7 on board. The aircraft had only been in service just under a week. Thankfully 4 of the 7 crew have survived but 3 sadly lost their lives in the accident.

December 8th 2009;

A new Indian cargo airline is looking to acquire 2 MD11F's in 2010. Aryan Cargo Express hope to provide cargo services from India to many worldwide destinations, eventually operating with A330F's.

Things are reportedly going well for Cargoitalia. With Lufthansa cargo pulling out of Milan, Cargoitalia now co-operate with Lufthansa on several routes out of Milan and Frankfurt with the result of good loadings and the likelihood of a third and possibly fourth aircraft joining the fleet in 2010. Both the current aircraft have performed flawlessly and schedules have been kept, a far cry from the days of Alitalia!

Still waiting to hear what caused the crash in Shanghai of Z-BAV on the 28th November. Apparently the tail struck the runway as the aircraft was rotating - not sure why yet, and then failed to get airbourn and crashed at the end of the runway.

Better news is Avient are looking to acquire the other former Varig Log MD11F cn 48410 which is currently at Miami and registered N575SH.

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