Today, Nippon Cargo launched the first, but so far the only, flight since being grounded due to an “inappropriate maintenance record” on June 16th that caused the entire fleet to be grounded for inspections. NCA resumed their service to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) from their home base at Tokyo Narita (NRT). While the initial inspection time was expected to take a week at the most, it was three weeks before any of their aircraft was cleared to return flying. With a fleet size of eleven, only one has been returned to work after the inspections.
Nippon expects all aircraft to return to the skies, but has avoided thus far remarking on a timeline back to full capacity. “The fleet will resume in sequence as soon as the aircraft safety is confirmed,” they advised without details on which stage of inspection their aircraft are currently in. Shippers using space on NCA are still very concerned about capacity issues arising from the grounding and the impact the re-routed space will have on other carriers. Cargo capacity throughout the Trans-Pacific has been tested throughout this trial with little leeway to begin with.
We at Nelson International are keeping an eye on this story and would offer our initial post on how the fleet was originally grounded and the steps that are being undertaken to get the fleet back up and running without issues concerning maintenance.