Italian cargo carrier MiniLiner has become launch customer for the Aircraft Conversions Fokker 50 E-class cargo modification, taking delivery of its first “Fokker50Freighter” this week.

MiniLiner’s first Fokker 50 has actually been delivered to the Swedish Fokker 50 operator Amapola Flyg which will operate the aircraft in Sweden under contract, says Aircraft Conversions chief executive Arnoud Smit.

“The second aircraft, which will also be operated by Amapola, will depart next week in preparation for its new mission from MiniLiner’s Bergamo base,” he adds.

 © Fokker

Aircraft Conversions’ “Two Cargo Doors Concept with Integrated E-class” modification for the Fokker 50 received US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency certification earlier this year, but deliveries were held up by three months due to the demise of the programme’s original launch customer, an undisclosed European company.

 © Fokker

The aircraft’s large forward cargo door permits the loading of bulky items while the rear “express” cargo door accommodates Euro-pallets.

Smit says that “following the demise of our original launch customer, we are immensely pleased with the start of this new project in actual operation”.

MiniLiner currently operates eight Fokker F27s and the airline’s chief executive Giuseppe Berlusconi says the introduction of the Fokker 50s provides the airline with a freighter “in the 7 to 8t cargo segment”.

He adds that the twin-turboprop’s low noise footprint will enable services to flown to “potentially smaller, noise-sensitive local communities”.