London Southend Airport-based Jota Aviation has taken delivery of the first of four BAE 146-300 QT pure Freighter aircraft in a multi-million dollar deal.
The company said this will substantially increase its market share and position the company as a “market leader in the cargo charter sector”.
The first aircraft (registered G-JOTE) will enter service on 1 June 2018 followed by a rollout of the additional three aircraft in late 2018. They will be available for long or short term contracts, ACMI for other cargo operators or ad-hoc charters, operating under Jota’s AOC.
The BAE 146-300 QT aircraft, acquired from ASL Madrid will complement its existing passenger fleet of BAe 146/Avro RJ aircraft, benefitting from utilising existing crew, engineering and spares, maximising efficiency and providing resilience to clients.
Head of commercial, Mike Sessions said: “These aircraft bridge the gap perfectly between ATR72 and older BAE ATPs in the cargo role and Boeing 737s. Offering these unique freighter aircraft to the market, we are able to deliver a load that is more voluminous, heavier, faster and more efficient than that offered by smaller aviation cargo companies.
“Introducing dedicated freighter aircraft will save customers valuable time, give us a wider scope of opportunities and provide more diversity in our business, keeping us busy throughout the seasons.”
With these new aircraft Jota Aviation is looking to develop a wider customer base in both contract and ad hoc markets, targeting sectors such as courier, mail distribution, automotive, spares manufacturing and livestock. The large, offset cargo door, combined with its wide cargo floor, makes it ideal for outsized one -piece shipments. The aircraft are larger -300 variants, originally built for pure freight use.
They have a maximum payload of 13.5 tonnes and a useable volume of over 100 cubic metres. The aircraft can be operated either bulk loaded with pallets, or with 7.5 X ABY or 9 X LD3 containers.
They feature a full roller cargo floor to ensure fast loading and unloading.
Being noise compliant the 146-300QTs are able to operate to most airports at night, including smaller regional airports.
Jota Aviation chief executive officer, Andy Green said: “This ushers in a very exciting chapter in the development of Jota. These dedicated 146 freighters have never been available on the open market before, having been exclusively owned and operated by TNT on their overnight network.
“The palletisation is fully compatible with overnight integrators and postal systems, unlike the QC (quick change) variants, previously offered on the market (and not such a popular choice.) These offer the perfect option between the turboprops that offer around 50 cubic metres, and the B737-300 that offer 130 cubic metres.
“As an established operator, we are already geared around quick reaction dispatches with our passenger ACMI offering and with our strong history with the Beechcraft King Air freight market too we are looking forward to the exciting buzz of ‘go now’ cargo charters.”
Jota Aviation said these latest fleet additions will help strengthen their portfolio of services which also include ACMI and passenger charter.