Manila, Philippines, The low-cost airline Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its first converted ATR 72-500 freighter, a first in the Philippines.
The new freighter of the Filipino carrier arrived at the Manila-Ninoy Aquino Airport on August 6, where it will be stationed. The turboprop was converted from a passenger plane to freighter by the French MRO provider Sabena Technics.
The aircraft was being operated by the Cebu Pacific subsidiary Cebgo. Cebgo has five more ATR 72-500 in its fleet waiting to be converted to the freighter for Cebu Pacific. The airline will acquire more ATR 72- 600 (currently has 13 copies) instead of the 72-500s that will leave the fleet.
Cebgo's all ATR 72-500s were transferred to the operator from parent Cebu Pacific in 2015.
The ATR 72-500F is the first of its kind in the Philippines, it will enable Cebu Pacific to deliver cargo to destinations in the country with short runways that only turboprops can land and take off and land.
The ATR 72-500F is equipped with a large cargo door (LCD) to load up to seven Ld3 air freight containers or five PBJ pallets. It can carry up to eight tons of freight.
Another ATR 72-500 is also being converted by Sabena Technics. It will be delivered to Cebu in late 2019.
We will be able to provide freight capacity that no other carrier in the Philippines can provide,
said CEO Lance Gokongwei.
With these cargo planes, we will be more responsive to the growing needs of the logistics industry, especially as the e-commerce business in the Philippines is growing rapidly and is looking for faster delivery times,
the chief executive added.
The ATR 72-500 (MSN820) of Cebu Pacific is eleven years old. It will be used to transport "urgent and high value" items including seafood, electronic equipment or tools.