Swiss plans to modify a fourth Boeing 777 for cargo-only flights as the Lufthansa subsidiary grows its intercontinental freight network.

Under a new schedule effective since 15 May, Hong Kong, New York JFK and Mumbai have become new destinations served with multiple weekly frequencies, Swiss says.

Previously, it operated cargo flights to Beijing, Chicago, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and – since 12 May – Toronto.

Chinese city Shenzhen is to be served from 22 May with 10 cargo flights, Swiss says.

Its leisure sibling Edelweiss is operating weekly cargo flights to Johannesburg under the current schedule. Swiss says it will carry freight on the route from June, when the carrier plans to resume passenger flights to Johannesburg.

The South African city is one of several intercontinental destinations that Swiss intends to resume serving with passenger aircraft from next month – others being Bangkok, Hong Kong, Mumbai, New York JFK, Newark, Singapore and Tokyo.

In April, Swiss disclosed a plan to remove economy seats on three of its 777-300ERs to increase freight capacity.

Now, preparations are under way for a fourth aircraft to adapted, Swiss says, noting that it operates all its cargo-only flights with 777s.

Cirium fleets data shows that Edelweiss’s long-haul operation is comprised of four Airbus A340-300s and two A330-300s. All but two of the carrier’s A340s are listed as being in storage.

Swiss says it has since March conducted more than 200 cargo-only flights with a total freight tonnage of more than 4,000t, mainly to carry medical supplies to Switzerland. Another 160 cargo flights are planned through to the end of June.

Before the coronavirus crisis, the carrier’s cargo operation was limited to carrying belly-freight.