Azul is expected to expand its fleet of E195 jets converted for cargo transport to 10 aircraft in 2021 thanks to the increase in e-commerce in Brazil. The information was revealed by David Neeleman, the carrier’s founder at a conference this week.

Because of the pandemic, demand for parcel shipping has exploded around the world, motivating many companies to adapt passenger planes to transport small packages. It was no different with Azul, which decided to adapt four Embraer E195 to carry cargo in the main cabin.

The conversion carried out under the guidance of Embraer removes 70% of the 118 seats, allowing the transport of 3.75 tons on board. The first aircraft converted by Azul entered service in September. Another three jets have already been modified to the new standard, according to the company. In its third quarter earnings report, Azul revealed that cargo traffic increased 40% compared to the same period in 2019.

The airline’s optimism involves the capillarity of its domestic network, with 113 cities. “Our diverse network, combined with our dedicated assets, gives us an unparalleled competitive advantage in the logistics sector,” said John Rodgerson, CEO of Azul Linhas Aereas.

The Brazilian airline has 67 jets from the first gen E-Jet family, but only 48 are in the active fleet. The rest were leased to TAP in addition to 12 units that are being transferred to other companies, including Breeze Airways, Neeleman’s new low-cost airline.

According to Embraer, the E195 freighter can carry 3.75 tons of cargo (Azul)