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  • Joe Breitfeller

Japan Airlines and Yamato Holdings to Launch New Cargo Aircraft in April 2024

Japan Airlines and Yamato Holdings will launch three dedicated Airbus A321-200P2F freighter aircraft from April 2024. Two of the passenger aircraft have already been received and the third is expected to be delivered in February 2023.


Airbus 321-200P2F: Image of the modified fuselage Main Deck cargo door - Courtesy Japan Airlines

On Tuesday (November 22, 2022), Japan Airlines (JAL) announced that in partnership with Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd. (YHD), they will launch three dedicated Airbus A321-200P2F (passenger-to-freight) cargo aircraft in April 2024. The partnership was originally announced on January 21, 2022, and this announcement includes initial route selections. The carrier has already received two of the passenger A321-200s, and the third is expected to be delivered in February 2023. Each aircraft has a maximum payload capacity of 28 tonnes, the equivalent of five or six 10-ton vehicles, and can accommodate 14 Main Deck AAY containers and 10 Lower Deck AKH containers. Once all three aircraft are in operation from April 2024, the partners plan to operate 21 daily flights on four routes, including service between Tokyo (Narita/Haneda) and Kitakyushu and Sapporo (New Chitose), as well as between Narita and Okinawa (Naha), and between Okinawa and Kitakyushu.


The conversion process for the three Airbus A321-200s into freighters will commence in Singapore from March 2023, under contract with EFW of Germany. EFW is a joint venture between Airbus and Singapore-based ST Aviation, a company that specializes in the conversion of passenger aircraft to freighters. The operating company for the new freighters will be Spring Japan Co., a JAL consolidated subsidiary. The carrier is currently installing the necessary equipment and improving the facilities at airports which will accommodate the dedicated freighters. Both partner companies will hire new personnel, including flight operations and freight handling teams, in preparation for the April 2024 launch.


Artist's Rendering of Yamato Transport/JAL Airbus A321-200P2F (Actual Livery May be Different) - Courtesy Japan Airlines

Founded in 1951, Japan Airlines was Japan’s first international carrier. JAL is a member of the global oneworld® alliance and connects over 349 airports in 54 countries and regions, together with their codeshare partners, with a fleet of more than 230 modern aircraft. The airline’s loyalty program, JAL Mileage Bank (JMB), is one of the largest loyalty programs in Asia. Japan Airlines is one of the most punctual major international airlines and has been certified as 5-Star Airline by Skytrax. The company is committed to providing customers the highest levels of safety and quality in all aspects of their service, and aims to become one of the world’s most preferred airlines.



Source: Japan Airlines