Photo: JetOneX

Weak market rates are already taking their toll on smaller freighter operators, with older aircraft beginning to be parked.

JetOneX, a US carrier with four 747Fs, but which operates on Air Atlantic Icelandic’s AOC, has parked them all: three in the UK, at Kemble Airport, landing in May and June; the other in Jakarta. one was reportedly operated by Air Atlanta’s Malta operation, on the behalf of Saudia Cargo.

While one contact told The Loadstar the airline had grounded owing money, another source close to the carrier said all its contracts had been fulfilled in Europe, although there was still some “winding-up” to do in Asia.

“The dip in rates has created a need for lower pricing on charters, and it can’t be done by JetOneX,” said the source.

“Lots of airlines made a lot of money in Covid, but rates have plummeted. Airlines that were buoyant, now don’t have contracts – and they don’t have the deep pockets of a carrier like Cargolux, so they can’t withstand the rate drop.”

And the source added: “JetOneX is not the only carrier to have parked some aircraft. There are lots, but some have parked just one or two aircraft and continue to operate with others.”

He said it was hard to see how an airline could come back after parking all its fleet, explaining: “If you aren’t flying at all, it does raise suspicions. I don’t know if JetOneX will come back from this, It has the cost of the aircraft on the ground to meet, and no income.

“The market is too weak for some aircraft to operate; the rates are just too low for some operators.”

JetOneX is owned by Bermuda’s Longtail Aviation and used to fly on its own operating certificate. It switched to Air Atlanta Icelandic, but it is unclear how long the contract is for.

And the source suggested Air Atlanta Icelandic (AAI) may have concerns.

“Would you want your AOC to be associated with an airline that isn’t flying? The question is whether JetOneX will fly again. It might need to make some changes to its business model. It will be hoping to pick up some contracts, or that a peak season will come.

“The story is that it will come back – but even if it does, will it be with AAI?”

JetOneX hit the news recently when it scooped up three 747 combis, two from KLM and one from Dubai Air Wing. These aircraft have not operated since their acquisition, with pilots speculating that they were bought for parts, or possibly full conversion.

The Loadstar was unable to reach JetOneX. A few days ago, the airline’s logistics manager noted on LinkedIn that he was looking for a new role. One forwarder contact said the carrier was not answering calls and “owed money”.

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