Filipino carrier Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-500 aircraft converted from passenger to cargo use.
The aircraft will be operated through CEB’s wholly owned subsidiary, CebGo and gives CEB the ability to bring cargo in and out of destinations served by airports with short runways where only turboprops can take off and land.
The ATR aircraft is equipped with a large cargo door (LCD), allowing a load of up to seven Ld3 air cargo containers, or five PBJ pallets. The freighter has capacity to carry up to eight tonnes of cargo.
The conversion was performed by Switzerland-based IPR Conversions Ltd at the Sabena Technics facility in Dinard, France.
It is the first of two passenger aircraft that CEB is converting for full cargo use. The second ATR 72-500 freighter is expected to be delivered in late-2019.
In July last year, the airline said the ATR aircraft is ideal for expediting the transport of high-value and time-sensitive commodities such as marine products, computing equipment and even heavy machinery to various points across the country
In June, Cebu Pacific committed to establishing its turboprop cargo operations at Sangley Airport and said it fully supports the government’s initiative to fast-track the development of the gateway.
The passenger arm of the airline flies to 37 domestic destinations, including routes where jet operations are not possible such as Marinduque, Batanes, Busuanga, Camiguin and Siargao.