Cebu Pacific took delivery of its second ATR converted freighter as it adds more cargo capacity on domestic routes where runways are usually shorter.
The ATR 72-500 aircraft with tail number RP-C7253 was converted at the Sabena Technics facility in Dinard, France, the same place where the first ATR freighter was modified for cargo operations.
Operated by subsidiary Cebgo, both converted turboprop freighters are equipped with a large cargo door and can carry 8 tonnes of palletized cargo. Apart from the ATR freighters, Cebu Pacific also modified one of its A330-300s by removing passenger seats to carry shipments in the main deck.
“We saw this pandemic as an opportunity to recalibrate our business and optimize operations to address the needs of our customers,” said Alex Reyes, president and CEO of Cebgo.
“There is a growing demand for cargo to and from the Philippines and our fleet of dedicated cargo aircraft allows us to address this while doing so in a more efficient manner,” he added.
Cebu Pacific’s cargo business accounted for 66 percent of revenue in Q3 last year, compared to only 8 percent for the same period in 2019.
The first converted ATR freighter was delivered the Philippine carrier in August 2019. In a statement, the carrier said that only a third of the airports in the country can accommodate jet aircraft, whilst the rest can only be served by turboprops.