SpiceJet’s cargo business is the first in South Asia to operate the efficient standard-body freighter on lease from Spectre Cargo Solutions’ NGF Alpha Limited
SpiceXpress, SpiceJet’s cargo division, has taken delivery of its first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) as the India-based carrier expands its air cargo operations to better serve one of the world’s most populated regions and offer new route options, the global defence and aerospace major Boeing said on September 23.
“We are expanding the markets we currently serve, particularly in the Middle East, Hong Kong and Bangladesh and the 737-800BCF’s reliability and versatility is helping enable our strategic direction,” said the chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, Ajay Singh.
The standard-body freighter, which is the first 737-800BCF to be operated in South Asia, is on lease from NGF Alpha Limited, a division of Spectre Cargo Solutions.
“It’s exciting to bring the 737-800 Freighter to India, a market we see growing in the coming years,” said the Spectre Air Capital CEO, Jordan Jaffe. “We have already invested over a quarter billion dollars into our 737NG programme, and are thrilled to put our continuing commitment to work serving great operators like SpiceJet. They join a growing family of customers utilising our diverse product range of freighters.”
India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) validated the 737-800BCF’s certification, clearing the way for the freighter to serve a rapidly-growing region and busy international trade hub. South Asia is home to one of the world’s largest population centres with 1.7 billion people or nearly one-quarter of the world’s total.
“SpiceJet has made bold moves to strengthen its position in one of the most dynamic and fast-growing aviation markets,” said the senior vice president Commercial Sales and Marketing for The Boeing Company, Ihssane Mounir. “We are excited that SpiceJet has chosen to expand its SpiceXpress operation with the 737-800BCF. This converted freighter gives operators just the right size, operating economics and capabilities to succeed in busy domestic and regional routes.”
The 737-800BCF entered service last year and its order book has grown quickly to 120 orders and commitments. The programme has ramped up production – with output set to more than double to 17 units in 2019 – to meet the customer demand.
Built on the popular and reliable Next-Generation 737 passenger airplane, the 737-800BCF offers operators lower operating cost per payload ton than older standard-body freighters. It is currently operating on four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America). The 737-800BCF carries up to 52,800 pounds (23.9 metric tons) of payload, opening new markets to operators with its long-range capability and high reliability.