New Delhi: SpiceXpress, the cargo-arm of no-frill carrier SpiceJet Ltd., has taken delivery of its first Boeing converted freighter plane, a 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF), taking its dedicated freighter fleet to four aircraft, the airline said in a statement on Monday.

The cargo arm of the airline, which currently operates an all Boeing 737 freighter fleet, took its latest freight aircraft on lease from NGF Alpha Limited, a division of Spectre Cargo Solutions.

BCF are next-generation 737 passenger airplanes, which are converted by Boeing Co into cargo jets that are capable of carrying more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes – and flying farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) – than previous standard-body freighters.

Launched during September 2018, SpiceXpress currently operates about nine cargo flights—six weekly services to Hong Kong from New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati and one domestic rotation connecting Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.

SpiceXpress has also operated numerous charter services to international destinations such as Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Teheran, Sulaimaniyah (Iraq), Bosaso (Somalia) and Hargeisa (Somali Land).

“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," said SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said in a statement.

The 737-800 BCF offers operators lower operating cost per payload ton than older standard-body freighters, according to Boeing Co.

“This converted freighter gives operators just the right size, operating economics and capabilities to succeed in busy domestic and regional routes," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president Commercial Sales and Marketing, at Boeing Co.