Planes for Cargo


I had started a cargo subsidiary and I have been running it for a few months now. However I dont have much experience in running a cargo fleet.

Can someone please tell me which aircrafts to choose for cargo operations. I see very few options for cargo. Most of the planes that can be used for cargo are no longer in production, so you can only buy them and ofcourse you get very bad rating for them.

So, which aircraft is best for short, medium and long distance routes?


I would recommend the ATRs for short haul. Their small lease payments means you can have an effective wave structure - which would give you a lot of connections on which cargo can be connected to. Also, try interlining with a big cargo carrier and feed units to it from a market it currently does not reach.

My opinion…

ATR 72F’s for short (ish) hops (up to 2 hours)

Tupolev Tu204/214 for short flights with high demand, and flights upto 6 hours long. I am a fan of the Tupolev’s, but they take ages to produce…

I dont offer long haul services yet, so undecided what I’ll go for. The MD-11F is often the preferred choice among cargo operators, but you need $$$ to buy them. If leasing, I’d look at A330F or B767F.

I have Airbus A330-200F, Boeing 737-700C, Boeing 747-400F, Boeing 777-200F, McDonnell Douglas MD-11F and Tupolev Tu-214C.

Going for range of an airplane isn’t the best idea. Better is to go for the capacity! If you have a route which is underfeeded with four daily Boeing 737-700C (and I mean 100% full after first booking), why don’t go with Airbus A330-200F even when it’s just 2.000km distance? I also use A330-200F and MD-11F on 11km hops (SHJ - DXB) or 140km (AUH - DXB) just to have enough capacity for connections to and out of DXB. Because there are less slots than needed I can fly with such “fat” planes on this short routes. The ATR 72 would be too small for that, the Boeing 737 and Tu-214C I was used to use are going to be too small so I go with the next big planes which are A330 and MD-11. There is no “plan” to do a certain route with a certain type of aircraft, just the demand which says you how big your plane has to be.

Also cargo is way more profitable than passenger service. Show me a leased Boeing 747-400 in PAX service which makes 34% margin / 107k AS$ with "118% prices" … ^^ Sure, 1229 Cargo units are way more difficult to fill in one plane (just one flight time) but if you can you will make money like hell.

Aaiiiii :wink:

haha … Ok, I’m just laughing about your post. [size="1"]While thinking: WHAT’S UP?![/size]





Hi everybody!

Which cargo plane is good for short (1000-2000 km) route with low demand (cities with one green cargo bar)?

Thank’s for replies!


Unless you have a massive cargo hub, 1 bar cities might not be the best place to fly cargo to.

need help. i have my airline set up and ive just bought an ATR. ive set flights, they show brown on the flight plan editor, in the inventory tab they show as economy not freight. 

If flights are brown then the plane doesn't have any seats. If your ATR ends with the letter F (as in ATR *2-**0F), then you have a cargo plane that doesn't allow any seats. If it doesn't end in F, then you can create a seating configuration (Commercial --> Cabin Configuration) and assign it to your plane in the Fleet Management screen.

What server are you at?