Brazilian cargo airline VarigLog is set for expansion later this year as it renews its short- and long-haul fleets with larger aircraft.

The airline, which now operates a quartet of Boeing 727-100 freighters, two larger 727-200Fs and three McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30F freighters, is negotiating the lease of four hushkitted 727-200Fs for delivery this year. These will replace its four 727-100Fs and will be followed by a further six 727-200Fs next year.

According to VarigLog's director of operations, Paulo C‚sar Castelo Branco, the company's decision to retire its Boeing 727-100Fs is due to operational and load limitations that the aircraft imposes, with the larger 727-200Fs offering the airline greater flexibility.

VarigLog will receive three Boeing MD-11s from sister carrier Varig following conversion to Special Freighter standard by Boeing at Wichita.

The first modified aircraft is expected to be handed over later this year, while the remaining two aircraft will be delivered during 2003.

VarigLog's fleet expansion will allow it to expand services throughout South America. After recording a loss of $24.8 million on revenues of $454.9 million in 2001, the cargo carrier expects to move into the black this year as sales grow to around $580 million.

Source: Flight International