UK cargo operator One Air has commenced operations from East Midlands airport, using its Boeing 747-400 freighter fleet for Hong Kong services.

The carrier had previously been operating its first aircraft (G-UNET) to the Asian hub from London Heathrow.

But One Air switched to East Midlands at the end of March, and it says the airport – which has a strong freight operation – will be a “regular origin and destination point”.

Its first flight to the airport arrived with a 105t payload.

One Air 747 freighter EMA-c-One Air

Source: One Air

One Air says East Midlands has fewer restrictions and greater slot availability

G-UNET has since been flown to Victorville in California for planned maintenance, the airline states, while its second aircraft (G-ONEE) has returned from its own servicing interval in Victorville and been deployed on the East Midlands-Hong Kong route.

The carrier flies the route via the Omani capital Muscat.

“East Midlands Airport has a lot of important plus points which make it attractive for all-cargo operations, including the availability of slots and fewer restrictions around night flying compared to other airports,” says One Air chief operating officer Chris Hope.

One Air says it aims to establish its presence at the airport. Hope states that East Midlands’ operator has a “very understanding and progressive attitude” towards freighter operators.

East Midlands airport commercial director Chris Lane says One Air will reinforce the “highly successful” cargo hub.