Fiji Airways has converted one ATR 72-600 into a freighter configuration for cargo operations.
The turboprop, operated by regional subsidiary Fiji Link, flew its first freighter flight from the Fijian capital of Nadi to Port Vila, carrying 3.8t of cargo including medical supplies.
Fiji Airways states that the reconfiguration work, which involved the stripping of all passenger seats, was carried out by its engineering subsidiary in Nadi. It adds that it can switch between freight-only and passenger configurations where necessary.
The airline has planned another freighter service for the week, this time from Nadi to Nuku’alofa in neighbouring Tonga.
Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen says: “A converted ATR 72-600 freighter allows for carriage of up to 8 tonnes of cargo, while a normal passenger ATR can only cater for up to 1.7 tonnes. Our converted ATR freighter service is ideal for Pacific Island countries, given the demand and operating conditions in region.”
Cirium fleets data indicates the ATR 72 that was converted is registered DQ-FJZ, and entered service in 2014. Fiji Link has an ATR 42-600 and four Viking Air DHC-6s in operation, with another ATR 72-600 in storage.
Story updated to reflect information on Fiji Link’s ATR 72 fleet.