From its first shipment on October 14, 1991 to its 20th anniversary in 2011, U.S. freight forwarder and cargo airline National Air Cargo has grown into a company with more than 500 employees and with a presence in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa.
National Air Cargo specializes in express cargo delivery and currently moves over 15 per cent of all cargo carried within the United States Central Command theater and over 40 per cent of all intra-theater commercial cargo supporting the United States Department of Defense.
After experiencing substantial growth and success in the freight-forwarding industry, National decided to acquire its own airline. In 2006, National acquired Murray Air and re-branded it as National Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Air Cargo Holdings.
National Airlines now has a fleet of three Boeing 747-400BCFs (the BCF stands for Boeing Converted Freighter), four Boeing 757-200 Combis, a Boeing 757-200 passenger aircraft and three McDonnell Douglas DC-8Fs (one of which is a DC-63F, one a DC-71F and one a DC-8-73F).
“Our continued growth stems from our people, who have created a ‘can-do’ culture and commitment to excellence that is unrivalled in the industry,” says Chris Alf, CEO of National Air Cargo Holdings.
On October 10, 2010, National announced the expansion of its fleet to improve its competitiveness in the global marketplace. The expansion includes three Boeing 747-400BCFs, which are the first long-range widebody freighters for the company. This move enabled National Air Cargo’s transition to a more modern and fuel-efficient fleet in order to provide better service to its customers, according to the company.
National’s inaugural flight with its first 747-400BCF was on September 9, 2010, from Frankfurt in Germany to Kuwait City, onwards to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan and then on to Hong Kong, with a return flight to Frankfurt.
On April 4, 2011 National performed its first landing at the new Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport. To date, National is the leading operator from Dubai World Central, having completed more than 300 flights from the massive new airport.
National Airlines has also acquired five Boeing 757-200s, four of which are undergoing conversion to Combi configuration with 10 pallet positions and 46 passenger seats. The other Boeing 757-200 is in full passenger configuration, offering 12 First/Business Class seats and 152 coach seats.
The carrier has begun international passenger charters with its all-passenger 757 and says it is poised to begin passenger charters in the Middle East using the aircraft.
National Air Cargo now moves cargo in more than 220 countries and territories, using a fleet of 33 wet-leased and owned aircraft.