Farnair to enter narrowbody market with 737 conversions

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Farnair Group is planning to offer larger-capacity aircraft in the Indian market.

The Switzerland-based ad-hoc and charter cargo company has placed an order for four firm Boeing 737-400SF 11-pallet-configuration conversions from Aeronautical Engineers (AEI), and taken options for four additional conversions.

In March, the air cargo carrier announced plans to increase its 36% stake in Indian cargo carrier Quikjet. Sales director Christian Degouy confirms that some 737-400SFs will be operated in India.

The first 16t aircraft, a high-gross-weight 737-400, will undergo freighter modification in August at AEI's authorised conversion centre Commercial Jet.

Degouy says Farnair has two more slots booked for February and March 2014 while the fourth 737-400SF slot is still open.

Farnair operates six ATR 72-200F turboprops equipped with the large cargo door and six with the bulk cargo door. The Swiss air cargo carrier also has two ATR 42-320 cargo aircraft in its fleet, plus one ATR 42-300 passenger aircraft and two Beech 1990 cargo models.

"The addition of the 737-400SF from AEI will significantly enhance our operations and will enable us to respond to the current demand of our customers for larger capacities," says Farnair Group's chief executive Guy Girard. "The aircraft's configuration and payload performance is an ideal match for the growth we face not only within the European cargo market but mainly further afield."

Farnair has been operating turboprops for 12 years since terminating Airbus A300 operations at its Dutch company Farnair Netherlands.