DR Congo-based FlyCAA has become Africa’s newest ATR freighter operator with today’s delivery of an ATR 72-500F (775, ex-Jet Airways); the thirteen-year-old aircraft, on lease from Aergo Capital, arrived at the carrier’s hub in Kinshasa (FIH) via Abuja (ABV) [FAT 006162].
Aeroconseil, which holds the STC for the conversion and provided the kit, confirmed to Cargo Facts that unit 775 was converted in September 2020 at the Airplane Delivery facility at Toulouse Francazal Airport.
The ATR had arrived at Francazal for storage in late 2019, after the demise of Jet Airways that year. Aeroconseil said some of the other ATR 72-500s Jet Airways previously operated could be candidates for conversion.
ATR freighters are currently few and far between in Africa. Apart from FlyCAA, South Africa-based Solenta Aviation and its Gabon-based affiliate have a handful of ATR 72-200Fs — including one delivered in December 2020 with a large cargo door — which they operate for DHL Express, while Gabon-based Afrijet acquired its first freighter late last year. That ATR 72-500F (711, ex-CanaryFly) was also converted according to the Aeroconseil STC and is now in operation with Switzerland-based Zimex Aviation on a CMI basis.
As for FlyCAA, the airline has two other passenger ATR 72-500s, as well as an A330-200 it added early this year. It previously operated a 727-200F (21986) but that aircraft had to be written off after a runway excursion accident at FIH in January 2010.