Diversification plans for Spanish charter carrier Futura International Airways have been uncovered, with a dedicated cargo unit using converted Boeing 737-300s the first step.

US lessor RPK Capital told Flight International sister online premium data service Air Transport Intelligence that a new contract with Pemco Aviation Group to convert two -300s into freighters is the first step in the plan for a new air freight division for the leisure carrier.

Palma de Mallorca-based Futura currently operates 13 737s for charter and cargo operations. According to RPK president William Prothero, the operator now wants to establish a freighter-only subsidiary, Futura Cargo.

Prothero says the first aircraft is expected to be delivered to Futura by May 1, with the second to be delivered in August. The serial numbers of the 1988-manufactured aircraft are 23741 and 23743. The first aircraft was delivered to Pemco’s Dothan, Alabama facility on 30 January. “[Futura’s] plan is to set up a separate airline in the future,” says Prothero.

He was unable to provide more information on the startup. Futura currently operates two 737-300s, seven 737-400s, and four 737-800s, according to AvSoft’s ACAS database. The two -300s to be converted will be new additions to the operator’s fleet.

Futura's chief executive Roman Pane, who is also the new president of the International Air Carrier Association lobby group for charter carriers, told Airline Business of the leisure carriers' needs to diversify in August last year.  


Source: Flight International