Swiss express cargo and charter airline Farnair Europe has launched the large door freighter version of the ATR 42, with a contract for one aircraft and a passenger version.

The Alenia/EADS joint venture has appointed Finmeccanica subsidiary and Alenia sister company, Aeronavali, as the ATR42/72 conversions provider. ATR chief executive Antoine Bouvier says he sees a "booming market" for over 150 conversions in the next 10 years.

Farnair's passenger aircraft was delivered in December and will be leased by the Swiss Federal Department of Defence for passenger transport between Hasel and Skopje. The second will be delivered in cargo configuration but initially without the large cargo door, which is due for certification at year-end, and is to be retrofitted.

Farnair Europe chief executive Guy Gerard says the fleet of four Fokker F27s with freighter-configured ATR 42s and 72s will be renewed "over time".

Source: Flight International