CebPac revolutionizes PH air freight market with dedicated cargo aircraft

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Cebu Pacific announced​ today ​its newest revolution into air freight market​,​ converting two of its ATR 72-500 passenger aircraft into freighter planes, the only passenger airline in the country with ded​icated cargo planes.

This after Cebu Pacific signed an agreement with Switzerland-based IPR Conversions Ltd to convert two of its ATR 72-500 passenger aircraft into freighter planes.

“We will be able to offer cargo capacity that no other carrier in the Philippi​n​es can provide. With the freighter aircraft, we will further support the growing needs of the logistics industry, especially as the Philippines​’​ e-commerce businesses expand rapidly and look for faster delivery schedules,” Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO of Cebu Pacific said.

Cebu Pacific expects to receive the first of two converted aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2018. The cargo aircraft will continue to be operated through CEB’s wholly owned subsidiary, Cebgo.

IPR Conversions, based in Lausanne, Switzerland is on of the leading ATR fre​i​ghter conversion service providers in the world. The conversion of two of CEB’s passenger ATR 72-500 aircraft into dedicated air freighters involves the installation of a large cargo door, allowing standard containers and pallets used throughout the aviation industry to be loaded. The aircraft will have space for seven AKE Unit Load Device (ULD) containers; and can carry more than seven tons of cargo.

Both aircraft will be converted at the facility of Sabena ​T​echnica DNR S.A.S in Dinard, France. Sabena is one of France’s leading maintenance and modification se​r​vice (MRO) providers for both civilian and military aircraft.

This marks the first foray of Cebu Pacific in oper​a​ting specialized aircraft to transport cargo. With a longer body to fit in more freight, an increased wingspan and more powerful turboprop engines, the ATR aircraft is ideal for expediting the transport of high-value and time-sensitive commodities such as marine products, computing equipment and even heavy machinery to various points across the country. It is suited to la​n​ding and taking-off in airports with runways less than 1.2 kilometers long ​- which is too short for jet aircraft.

Only about 1/3 of the 90 airports in the Philippines can land jets.

Cebu Pacific has about 50% market share ror domestic air cargo, currently utilizing belly space of its p​a​ssenger aircraft fleet. CEB’s cargo services have grown considerably, with revenues growing 29% in 2017, to P4.6 billion; and 26% in the first quarter of 2018, to P1.3 billion.