Costa Rican start-up carrier JHM Cargo Airlines has leased seven Airbus A300B4 freighters from C-S Aviation Services (CSAS) for all-cargo operations to begin by the end of June.

The carrier plans to start with twice-daily services between San Jose and Miami, Florida, says general manager Capt Roberto Escalante. The airline intends to establish itself by offering schedule reliability. "There is plenty of cargo in Costa Rica. What is lacking is reliability of service," he says.

"The number one market factor is on-time performance, not price," says Escalante, explaining that the bulk of northbound cargo is perishables, such as fish. Based on the experience of other operators of CSAS' converted A300B4-200 freighter, he expects high reliability from the aircraft. Escalante says JHM looked at Lockheed L-1011TriStar and McDonnell Douglas DC-8 and DC-10 freighters, but the A300 lease "...offered the best deal."

The seven aircraft, which were previously operated by Alitalia, will be delivered following conversion by British Aerospace Aviation Services in Filton, UK. The first five aircraft are scheduled for delivery by November, with the remaining two to arrive next year. JHM has gained operating approval from the Costa Rican authorities, and US permission is pending, he says. Pilot training has been completed and a maintenance programme is in place. Financial backing is being provided by Costa Rican investors.

Source: Flight International