Cebu Pacific takes delivery of cargo plane

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CEBU PACIFIC recently received the first of two ATR 72-500s it is acquiring. — COMPANY HANDOUT

CEBU PACIFIC said it has recently taken delivery of its first aircraft that was converted into a freighter last year, as the Gokongwei-led carrier enters the cargo market.

In a statement Tuesday, Cebu Pacific said it received the first of its two ATR 72-500s passenger aircraft that were converted into cargo planes.

“The freighter, the first of its type in the Philippines, gives Cebu Pacific the ability to bring cargo in and out of destinations served by airports with short runways that can land only turboprop aircraft,” it said.

The converted aircraft has a carrying capacity of eight tons of cargo. It will be operated by Cebu Pacific subsidiary Cebgo.

Last year, Cebu Pacific tapped Switzerland-based service provider IPR Conversions Ltd. to convert two of its ATR 72-500s. The second converted aircraft is scheduled to be delivered later this year.

The Gokongwei-led carrier said then that the conversion of its passenger planes into freighters is seen to support the growing logistics industry in the country, fueled by the continuous growth of e-commerce businesses.

“One other thing that we’re very excited about and very proud of is we are revolutionizing cargo operations and we will be the first (local) airline to actually have dedicated cargo aircraft,” Candice Jennifer A. Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice-president for marketing and distribution, said then.

Listed Cebu Pacific operator Cebu Air, Inc. posted a 138.4% growth in net income to P3.43 billion in the first quarter, driven by an increase in passenger volume and higher average fares. — Denise A. Valdez