SpiceJet’s cargo division SpiceXpress has taken delivery of its first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF), as part of the expansion of its air cargo operation.

The standard-body freighter 737-800 is on lease from Spectre Cargo Solutions’ division NGF Alpha.

SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said: “We are expanding the markets we currently serve, particularly in the Middle East, Hong Kong and Bangladesh and the 737-800BCF’s reliability and versatility is helping enable our strategic direction.”

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) evaluated the freighter’s certification, creating a path for the BCF to serve a rapidly growing and busy region.

Spectre Air Capital CEO Jordan Jaffe said: “It’s exciting to bring the 737-800 Freighter to India, a market we see growing in the coming years.

“We have already invested over a quarter billion dollars into our 737NG programme and are thrilled to put our continuing commitment to work serving great operators like SpiceJet.”

The Boeing 737-800BCF started operations last year and currently has a total of 120 orders in its list.

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It is built on the Next-Generation 737 passenger airplane and operates at a lower cost per payload-tonne when compared with older standard-body freighters.

The 737-800BCF is currently operational across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. It carries payloads of up to 52,800lb, which is the equivalent of 23.9mt.

Boeing commercial sales and marketing senior vice-president Ihssane Mounir said: “We are excited that SpiceJet has chosen to expand its SpiceXpress operation with the 737-800BCF.

“This converted freighter gives operators just the right size, operating economics and capabilities to succeed in busy domestic and regional routes.”