Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air recently received its second ATR 72-500 converted freighter aircraft on Christmas Day 2020. The airline said it is strengthening air cargo services to local airports with shorter runways.
Coming all the way from Sabena Technics DNR S.A.S.'s facility, RP-C7253 departed from Dinard, France on December 17, 2020. The final leg of its week-long journey ended with a technical stop in Bangkok, Thailand before flying direct to Manila on December 25, 2020.
The newly-delivered aircraft entered commercial service today, with a roundtrip cargo flight from Manila to Cagayan de Oro.
In August 2019, Cebu Pacific's first ATR freighter, RP-C7252, arrived in the country. The aircraft was among the few dedicated cargo aircraft, as the Philippines' cargo movement were mostly catered in passenger aircraft's cargo compartments.
Aside from the two turboprop cargo aircraft, the airline also temporarily converted an Airbus A330's cabin and stripped off its seats to accommodate more cargo inside. This has been an interesting yet now-usual practice in the aviation sector, as airlines search for ways to maximize profits.
"We saw this pandemic as an opportunity to recalibrate our business and optimize operations to address the needs of our customers. 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," says Alex Reyes, President and CEO of Cebgo.
The carrier continues to anticipate its cargo business to continue flourishing, and its investment in these dedicated cargo aircraft supports its commitment to continue providing affordable and accessible air travel services for everyJuan.
Photo from Sabena Technics