Challenge Group has added a Boeing 747-400 freighter to its operations as it pushes ahead with plans to expand its fleet, reports HLPFI’s sister publication Air Cargo News.

Challenge Group adds another 747 freighter

Source: Challenge Group

The airline said that the addition of the extra aircraft demonstrated the group’s “confidence in its vision for the future” and comes despite current market concerns about overcapacity. The additional aircraft brings Challenge’s current fleet to five B747Fs and a single B767 freighter.

Last year, the Malta-headquartered group told Air Cargo News it is on course to operate a mix of 12 Boeing freighters by 2026, adding four B767 and four B777 converted aircraft, expanding beyond its traditional fleet ‘DNA’ of four B747Fs.

The group’s chief commercial officer, Or Zak, pointed out that the aircraft are ideal for larger loads and special cargo. “The new B747-400F is a testament to Challenge Group’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve despite industry discussions about overcapacity,” said Zak.

“It is an ideal choice for transporting commodities such as heavy and oversize, horses, pharma, aircraft engines, dangerous goods, cars and other complex verticals and will enhance our capacity and flexibility, allowing us to tap into new markets as well.”

The additional freighter will be operated on services between Asia and Europe. 

The carrier took delivery of its first B767-300 in August last year and hopes to have taken delivery of all four 767s, which can carry around 60 tonnes, by the third quarter of 2024.