The new life of three Airbus A340-600 as freighters

Martin Romero

European Cargo A340-600

European Cargo announced the addition of three Airbus A340-600 freighters in the coming months. The company is the sole operator of this model worldwide.

The airline, along with Cargo First, is preparing to receive the new aircraft at its base at Bournemouth Airport (BOH), United Kingdom. The air cargo operator has hired 15 new employees to cover roles in warehousing, aircraft handling, and security.

European Cargo operates dedicated freight flights for e-commerce goods between China and Europe. The routes operated by the company include: Chengdu-Bournemouth, Haikou-Bournemouth, and Haikou-Vienna-Bournemouth.

European Cargo A340-600
European Cargo A340-600 – Photo Aviacionline/Martín Romero

Jason Holt, CEO of European Cargo, stated: “We recently celebrated the first anniversary of flights from Bournemouth to Chengdu, and in our first year, we operated nearly 300 flights, transporting around 20,000 tons of cargo.”

“With our fourth long-haul freighter, fully converted, entering service in July and two more in October, we see growing interest in our aircraft and services. We continue to prepare for the high autumn season and additional services that will come online in the coming months,” Holt added.

The first Airbus A340-600 is expected to join the company in July this year, with the remaining two arriving before October 2024. European Cargo’s A340-600s have a cargo capacity of 440 m³, capable of carrying up to 76 tons of payload.

Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First are part of the British group Regional and City Airports (RCA), which offers seamless cargo operations to its customers.

Additionally, RCA owns the airports of Coventry, Exeter, and Norwich. It also manages XLR Executive Jet Center FBO facilities located at the airports of Birmingham, Bournemouth, Exeter, and Liverpool.

Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, noted that “Our collaboration with European Cargo has turned Bournemouth into a reliable and cost-effective hub for e-commerce and other types of air cargo in the UK, with a proven track record of delivering highly efficient service for our clients’ urgent shipments.”

“With the additional freighters from European Cargo coming into service shortly and the constraints faced by other UK hubs, we see a significant opportunity to further grow the market as we prepare for the high season,” he added.

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