US cargo carrier Kalitta Air has joined FedEx in applying for a Hong Kong-South Korea fifth-freedom all-cargo frequency that is becoming available.
Kalitta is asking the US DOT for permission to exchange one its two Hong Kong-Madras, India all-cargo frequencies for Hong Kong-Seoul. The Hong Kong-Seoul frequency would be used once weekly as part of a Hong Kong-Incheon-Anchorage-Chicago-New York JFK routing with a Boeing 747-400.
FedEx earlier asked the DOT for permission to swap one of its 12 Hong Kong-Subic Bay, Philippines frequencies for Hong Kong-Seoul. FedEx proposes a once per week Memphis-Anchorage-Incheon-Hong Kong routing using a Boeing MD-11.
The Kalitta and FedEx applications come after Polar Air Cargo has asked regulators to transfer from 3 July one of its Hong Kong-Seoul fifth-freedom frequencies to Hong Kong-Manama, Bahrain. If regulators approve Polar's application, one of the 12 all-cargo fifth freedom frequencies available to US carriers between Hong Kong and South Korea would become available.
As part of a 2002 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States and Hong Kong, there are 64 all-cargo fifth-freedom frequencies available to US carriers. Up to 12 of these can be used for services to South Korea.
Currently there are no frequencies available in this pool and the maximum 12 to South Korea are being utilised. But Polar's proposed transfer of one frequency from South Korea to Bahrain opens up an opportunity for another cargo carrier to move one of its existing Hong Kong fifth-freedom frequencies to South Korea.