Indian low-cost airline, SpiceJet has converted three of its Bombardier Q400 passenger aircraft into freighters. The turboprops, which usually have space for 78 passengers in a single-class configuration, had their seats removed and now each have a cargo capacity of 8.5 tons.
Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet said: “Our cargo operations are doing extremely well and to address the increased demand we have converted three Q400 passenger aircraft into freighters. These are our old 78-seater Q400s and have a cargo capacity of 8.5 tons each. These smaller cargo planes are perfectly suited for operations to Tier 2 and 3 cities (populations between 20,000 and 99,000) and to remote and hilly areas in the Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh [regions].”
SpiceJet’s cargo network now stretches to more than 25 international destinations, most of which were added during India’s COVID-19 lockdown period, which has been in force since March 24.
“There is an opportunity in every crisis and at SpiceJet, we have been constantly innovating and adapting to changing situations. We see a tremendous potential in the cargo business and will continue to expand in the times to come,” Singh added.
The low-cost carrier has been aggressively increasing its international cargo network operations with flights to and from more than 25 destinations in the last couple of months.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet operated India’s first cargo-on-seat flight on April 7 carrying vital supplies in the passenger cabin. The airline now has a fleet of eight dedicated freighter aircraft which it operates through its subsidiary, SpiceXpress.