BUDGET carrier Cebu Pacific said it recently took delivery of its second cargo freighter, as it aims to take advantage of the growing demand for cargo to and from the Philippines amid the ongoing pandemic crisis, a top official said.

“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,” Cebgo, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Alex Reyes said in a statement e-mailed by Cebu Pacific on Wednesday.

The budget carrier, operated by Cebu Air, Inc., had its ATR 72-500 aircraft with tail number RP-C7253 converted at a facility in Dinard, France, where it also had its first freighter modified.

The two freighters are operated by Cebgo, a subsidiary of Cebu Air.

They are equipped with a “large cargo door, allowing for capacity to be as much as eight tons of palletized cargo,” Cebu Pacific said, adding that it also modified recently an A330 aircraft from passenger to all-cargo configuration.

The budget carrier expects its cargo business to continue to “flourish” amid the pandemic crisis.

Cebu Air swung to a net loss of P14.69 billion during the January to September period of 2020, from the P6.77-billion profit it generated in the same period in 2019.

Cebu Air shares closed 1.10% lower at P49.50 apiece on Wednesday. — Arjay L. Balinbin