New Delhi/Mumbai: Ajay Singh-owned SpiceJet is diversifying into the air cargo business, and will be the first among Indian airlines to start a dedicated freighter plane service. The airline, which will be using Boeing 737-800 BCF for freighter operations, will get its first plane in July.
“We plan to start operations by July between the metro cities. Gradually we will be spreading the business to other cities including international destinations,” a senior SpiceJet official said.
Sources said that retrofitting work in aircraft is underway at Boeing’s facilities in Shanghai and at Israel Aerospace Industries. “Two planes have already undergone conversion and will be joining our fleet by third week of July,” the Spicejet official said. The airline plans to have 20 freighter planes by 2022.
Through its freighter conversion program, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing transitions passenger airplanes into freighters. “The seats of the plane are removed creating space for cargo. Modifications also include installing a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodations for up to four non-flying crew members or passengers.
The 737-800BCF carries load of upto up to 23 tonnes and has a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) which according to SpiceJet will help them to venture in new international markets. “The international destinations are still in planning stage but certainly we will expand gradually,” the official said.