IPR Conversions redelivered the first of two passenger-to-freighter converted ATR 72-500Fs to Philippines-based Cebu Pacific [FAT 005059]. The aircraft (820) was previously part of Cebu Pacific’s own passenger fleet and will be the airline’s first dedicated freighter.
After making a couple of short test flights around Dinard (DNR), France, where the aircraft was converted to freighter configuration, unit 820 took off from DNR at approximately 10:30 local time and landed in Paphos (PFO), Cyprus, about seven hours later, according to flight-tracking data. It will presumably have to make at least one or two more stops on its ferry flight back to Manila (MNL).
Apart from being Cebu Pacific’s first freighter, unit 820 is also the first ATR freighter for any carrier in the Philippines. It will allow the airline to transport a variety of items around the Philippine islands, where many airports can only be served with turboprops like the ATR 72. Cebu Pacific originally inked an agreement with IPR for two ATR 72-500 conversions in July 2018. Unit 820, along with another of the airline’s ATR 72-500s (828), were both inducted for conversion at the Sabena Technics facility in Dinard last year. Both ATR 72-500Fs will be operated by Cebu Pacific’s Cebgo subsidiary, which currently operates six ATR 72-500s and thirteen ATR 72-600s.
IPR, meanwhile, appears to also have redelivered ‘Ohana by Hawaiian’s third converted ATR 72-200F (432, ex-First Air) [FAT 005060]. Based on flight-tracking data, that aircraft, which will be operated by Idaho-based Empire Airlines, was ferried from the Empire MRO facility in Coeur d’Alene (COE) to Roswell (ROW). Hawaiian is expecting to add one more ATR 72-200F to its regional freighter fleet.