JAL gets back into cargo business with dedicated aircraft

Japan Airlines unveiled a new cargo plane on Thursday as it prepares to resume dedicated freight operations for the first time in 14 years.

The Japanese carrier rolled out the Boeing plane at Narita Airport near Tokyo. It will start with a fleet of three aircraft.

The planes come with specialized equipment for loading and unloading containers. They can carry up to 48 tons each and have a cruising distance of more than 10,000 kilometers.

JAL once had as many as 14 cargo aircraft, but all were sold in the company's bankruptcy in 2010. It has since used space in the holds of passenger aircraft for cargo shipments.

The carrier is reentering the cargo market to tap into rising demand led by growth in online retailing.

JAL plans to operate the flights between Narita and destinations such as Seoul, Taipei and Shanghai where freight demand is strong.

JAL's new cargo fleet is scheduled to start operations on February 19.