Tradewinds Airlines

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For the defunct British cargo airline, see Tradewinds Airways
Sky Lease Cargo
Founded 1969
Fleet size 7
Parent company Wrangler Aviation Inc.
Headquarters Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Sky Lease Cargo (Tradewinds Airlines until 2011) is an American cargo airline based in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA.


Tradewinds Airlines[edit]

The airline was established in 1969, as Wrangler Aviation and started operations in 1973, using Lockheed Constellation aircraft under FAA Part 91. It became a Part 121 carrier in 1978 and became an all-cargo airline in 1981.

Circa 1991- 1992, issues of Tradewinds citizenship, ownership, and compliance with federal airline laws resulted in the conclusion and finding that through the unregulated use of "Delaware Company Law" and the practice of subsidiaries being parts of other subsidiaries," Wrangler Aviation the parent company of which Tradewinds was a part; did not meet the fitness requirements of a certificated airline of the United State.[1] The conclusions resulted in restructuring changes to the company to continue operating.

The current name was adopted in 1991. It was what let Piedmont Triad International Airport be an "International Airport," because previously, Piedmont had served the eastern United States. In December 2007, Donald Watkins, Lawyer from Alabama bought part of the company. On June 6, 2008, the airline reduced its staff by 70% and parked all 5 B747 and 3 A300.

During 2006, explorative attempts were made by Valiant Airways to contract Tradewinds Airlines for "start-up" operations, but these attempts failed to result in services coming to fruition.[2]

Further press releases on June 3, 2008 indicate that Tradewinds returned five Boeing 747-200F aircraft to the lessor and furloughed employees that operated the lines. On July 25, 2008, Tradewinds Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the third time. The company cited rising fuel costs and low demand, but plans to continue to operate flights during reorganization.[1] In December 2008 Tradewinds Airlines was purchased by Sky Lease One, Florida.

On January 2009 Caribbean Transportation Services (Owned by FedEx), Sky Lease 1 (DBA Tradewinds Airlines) only customer indicated that effective May 14, 2009 will ceased all operations. Effective July 1, 2009 Tradewinds Airlines is operating from Miami to Lima, Peru; Barranquilla and Medellin, Colombia. According to reliable sources, in the very near future Tradewinds will operate in addition to the Airbus 300, three MD-11 to South America.

Sky Lease Cargo[edit]

A Sky Lease Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F

Tradewinds Airlines became Sky Lease Cargo in 2011 and also changed its IATA and ICAO codes, the company is now owned by Alfonso Rey and operates a fleet of MD-11 to various points South America and Amsterdam in Europe from Miami International Airport.


As of January 2012, Sky Lease Cargo operates the following services:[2]

North America
  • Miami (United States) base
South America


As of September 2013, Sky Lease Cargo's fleet includes:[3]

SkyLease Cargo Fleet:
Aircraft In Service Stored Notes
McDonnell Douglas MD-11F

Incidents and Accidents[edit]

On June 7, 2006, a Boeing 747-200F by the registration of N922FT had an engine failure on takeoff at José María Córdova International Airport. The pilot aborted, but the plane overran the runway. None of the 6 on board were injured. However, the plane was substantially damaged. See Video

See also[edit]

Centurion Air Cargo


External links[edit]