Russian carrier NordStar is intending to shift into freighter operations, with plans to acquire Boeing 767-300F twinjets.

NordStar says it is looking to lease up to five of the type through state aircraft leasing firm GTLK.

It has discussed plans for freighter management with cargo specialist Kratos Group, which would serve as a channel for freight flow.

NordStar would participate in the project as the operator of the aircraft as well as provide maintenance and technical services.

The airline would use the aircraft on domestic services as well as connections to China and the European Union.

NordStar says is expects the freighter project to start in 2020, and that it will complement its offering of cargo transport on its passenger aircraft fleet.

The airline, which is overseen by mining firm Norilsk Nickel, uses passenger types including Boeing 737s and ATR turboprops. It serves some 50 destinations with bases in Moscow Domodedovo and Krasnoyarsk.

NordStar claims the freight market is a "promising area of development" within the air transport industry.

Federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia indicates, however, that cargo activity among Russian carriers has declined over the first seven months of this year, with a fall of more than 6% in freight traffic. NordStar's freight traffic for January-July was down by nearly 8%.