New European Freight Airline Ready For Takeoff Shortly

European Cargo will be operating former Virgin Atlantic A3400-600s
European Cargo will be operating retired Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600s
Credit: wikimedia.commons

UK-based European Cargo has been granted an air operator’s certificate (AOC) by the UK Civil Aviation Agency and plans to start freight services shortly. 

The company is an offshoot of European Aviation Group (EAG), which is based at Bournemouth Airport on the south coast of England. In recent years EAG has bought up a substantial number of Airbus A340s as they were retired by passenger airlines, notably Etihad and Virgin Atlantic. 

Many are only 10-15 years old and have considerable potential lives remaining. The company said last summer it also had 99 engines for the type in its inventory, to guarantee lengthy lifespans.

European Cargo will use some of the A340-600s acquired from Virgin Atlantic. Cabin interiors will be removed so the aircraft can operate as makeshift freighters. The exact number to be used initially is not certain but if demand is sufficient, more will be converted to this configuration, a company source told Aviation Daily.

During the pandemic, EAG operated several of the ex-Virgin aircraft on freight services on the AOC of Malta-based Maleth Aero to carry personal protective equipment to the UK. The company then decided to apply for a UK AOC. 

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.