Northeast Asia’s combination passenger-freight airlines are re-fleeting their main deck cargo operations.
EVA Air is the latest, announcing at the Paris Air Show its intent to acquire five 777Fs. The 777F has also been used to re-fleet the cargo units affiliated mainland China’s big three airlines:
Air China, China Eastern and China Southern. The largest in-service 777F fleet in the world is with China Southern, with 10.
Korean Air has taken 777Fs in addition to 747-8Fs, which only Cathay in Asia has been the other combination airline to use. There are no known re-fleeting plans from Asiana and China Airlines.
The airlines that have re-fleeted have been optimistic about acquisition costs being offset by operating efficiencies.
Southeast Asia has a different outlook.
Thai Airways has exited the main deck freight business and Malaysia Airlines may do the same, although both were small players.
Singapore Airlines Cargo is the largest in Southeast Asia but with only eight in-service 747Fs and no plans to re-fleet. As with the passenger business, Southeast Asian carriers are disadvantaged in serving North America, the main freight route for Northeast Asian carriers. To Europe there is large competition, including from Gulf carriers.