Russia’s S7 Airlines is to branch into dedicated freighters with the introduction of two Boeing 737-800BCF cargo jets within the next five months.
It intends to acquire the first in November this year and another in January 2021.
“These will be the first aircraft in the S7 Airlines fleet fully focused on carriage of goods on medium-haul routes,” says the Russian operator.
Its S7 Cargo division will have commercial responsibility for the freight transport. S7 Cargo chief Ilya Yaroslavtsev says the freighters’ introduction is an “important step” in its cargo transport business.
He says the additional capacity will be deployed on routes with high freight demand but for which the holds of passenger aircraft do not offer sufficient cargo space.
Yaroslavtsev adds that the new aircraft could increase the airline’s volume of cargo and mail transport by 30%.
S7 Airlines is sourcing the freighters from US lessor GECAS, which has newly increased its commitment to the converted aircraft.
GECAS has 60 of the freighters on order, as a result of the expanded agreement, plus options on a further 14.