The U.S. Department of Transportation this week granted authority to operate a Boeing 747 cargo plane to a Bermuda-based company whose business model is private jet charter services for VIPs.
Longtail Aviation International has acquired a jumbo jet freighter to transport personal protective equipment to locations in the U.S. and other parts of the world, according to the company’s application. The gear is still in high demand to help populations cope with the spread of the novel coronavirus and has stressed the airfreight system to its limits at times, soaking up a large chunk of the available freighter capacity.
The airline, founded in 2003, has a single Boeing 737-700 for its private jet charter service but is branching out to the cargo market to take advantage of the market opportunity.
Longtail is leasing the 747 freighter from Aquiline International Corp., based in the United Arab Emirates.
A month ago, the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority issued an operating certificate to Longtail for the B747, according to the company’s website. It is using software from CHAMP Cargosystems for calculating weight and balance for cargo operations.
The U.S. decision, which is good for one year, was based on the 1997 U.S.-U.K. Open Skies Agreement, since Bermuda is a British territory.
Longtail representatives did not respond to repeated requests for comment about their business plans.