Spain-based CanaryFly will enter the freighter market with its first ATR 72-500F (726, ex-Binter Canarias).
CanaryFly told Cargo Facts it had planned to begin cargo operations prior to this year, but the changing market conditions brought about by the pandemic had accelerated those plans and pushed the carrier to quickly adapt. The company announced in May it would start transporting goods with its passenger fleet during the suspension of all regular flights.
Unit 726, which CanaryFly confirmed is leased from previous operator Binter Canarias, arrived back in Las Palmas (LPA) Dec. 14 and is expected to begin service later in December. The aircraft was removed from passenger service mid-October and ferried to Toulouse Francazal airport to be converted according to the Aeroconseil STC by ATR MRO specialist BinterTechnic, an affiliate of Binter Canarias. BinterTechnic had declined to comment on the conversion customer in October.
CanaryFly and Binter Canarias are both based in the Canary Islands.
CanaryFly told Cargo Facts that, although its key markets are Europe and Africa, the carrier is open to deploying its freighter for scheduled, charter or ACMI operations, depending on customer requirements. CanaryFly also said it is working to expand both its cargo and passenger fleets.
Apart from unit 726, CanaryFly’s current fleet consists of six ATR 72-500s. Another ATR 72-500 previously operated by CanaryFly (711) was also converted by BinterTechnic at LPA in June. Unit 711, which appears to have been parked at Francazal since August, has been delivered to Gabon-based Afrijet, which told Cargo Facts in September it had subcontracted the operation of the aircraft to Switzerland-based Zimex Aviation.
Meanwhile, Philippines-based Cebu Pacific confirmed to Cargo Facts that it expects to add a second ATR 72-500F to its active fleet in December. The aircraft (828) was removed from the airline’s own passenger fleet in 2018, and has been undergoing conversion into large-cargo-door configuration in Dinard (DNR), France, with redelivery expected earlier this year. Cebu Pacific’s first freighter (820) was redelivered in July 2019.