What Happened To China Southern’s Boeing 757s?

China Southern previously held 32 Boeing 757s over the course of 31 years. The first one of these to arrive was in 1987 and the last one to leave was 2018. Let’s take a look at what happened to these narrowbodies.

China Southern Airlines - Boeing 757-28S
China Southern operated the 757 on both domestic and international routes. Photo: byeangel via Wikimedia Commons

A purpose remains

The airline’s former 757s had different fates. However, there were patterns that emerged for a couple of groups. According to Planespotters.net, the first 757-200 in the Guangzhou-based carrier’s fleet was registration B-2803. The plane joined the operator in November 1987 and left for Jet2 in February 2007. Other units that also joined the British carrier include B-2801 and B-2802.

Another commercial operation to gain a few of China Southern’s units was SCAT Airlines, which also deployed them for its subsidiary Sunday Airlines. The Kazakhstani firm took on B-2818 and B-2822.

The second China Airlines arrival was B-2804, which was delivered in November 1988. It then went on to remain active with FedEx since July 2008 as a freighter.

China Southern’s B-2805 also went on to operate flights with FedEx in the same year. B-2815, N769BE, and N770BE also ended up at the cargo powerhouse.

B-2801 joined Jet2 as G-LSAG, but it is now in storage. Photo: Mark Harkin via Wikimedia Commons

Moving goods

Most of the airline’s 757s went on to become shipping specialists. Notably, many went on to take on operations with China Postal Airlines. B-2823, B-2824, B-2825, B-2813, B-2827, B-2831 all transferred to the Beijing-headquartered outfit.

Another Chinese cargo airline that took on China Airlines’ units was YTO Cargo Airlines. It snapped up B-2851, B-2812, B-2830, B-2859, and B-2853 from China Southern.

B-2807, which also arrived with the airline at the end of the 1980s was transferred to Pegasus Aviation in July 2007. It then hopped around a handful of airlines before being broken up in the summer of 2018 with China Southern’s B-2811.

Further Pegasus-bound units include B-2806, B-2811, and B-2815. Other 757s that went on to be cargo workhorses are B-1463, which is now with SF Airlines, and G-DHKF and G-DHKG, which are now with DHL.

Several of China Southern’s former 757s can still be seen on shipping routes. Photo: byeange via Wikimedia Commons

There were some exceptions to the trends. For instance, B-2852 went to Air Astana before now in the control of the Bank of Utah. Moreover, B-2812 arrived in China in May 1990 but was damaged beyond repair following a hijacking at Guangzhou-Baiyun Airport the same year.

A valued type

Eastern Air Lines first introduced the 757 back in January 1983. 20 years later, in late 2003, Boeing decided to end 757 production. Ultimately, the firm took this decision because of the increased abilities of the newest 737s, and the new 787 fulfilled the 757 market’s requirements.

Subsequently, on April 27th, 2005, Boeing ended the plane’s run. The final passenger unit was delivered to another Chinese carrier in the form of Shanghai Airlines. This 757 was the 1,050th unit produced.

Airlines taking on the plane would have been keen to try its advancements over its predecessor. Passengers and crew alike would have noticed improvements with the type’s introduction.

“The twin-engine, medium-range 757 was up to 80 percent more fuel efficient than the older 727 jetliners it was designed to replace but retained the 727’s short-field capability. The 757-200 carried up to 228 passengers and had a range of approximately 3,900 nautical miles (7,222 kilometers),” Boeing shares on its website.

“The 757 and the 767 were developed concurrently, so both shared the same technological advances in propulsion, aerodynamics, avionics and materials. The pioneering two-crew computerized flight decks, or “glass cockpits,” of the 757 and 767 are nearly identical, so pilots could easily qualify to fly both.”

The 757 is being replaced by other modern narrowbodies for passenger operations. Nonetheless, it looks like it will still have a role to play in cargo services for a while.

What are your thoughts about China Southern’s Boeing 757s? Have you flown on the aircraft over the years? Let us know what you think of the type in the comment section.