SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) has converted three of its thirty-two Dash 8-400s to makeshift freighters to respond to increased demand for cargo flights in India, the low-cost carrier said in a press statement to the PTI news agency.

"These smaller cargo planes are perfectly suited for operations to Tier II and III cities and to remote and hilly areas in the North East, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh," Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said.

The airline did not identify the specific De Havilland Aircraft of Canada turboprops it had converted but said they were selected from a batch of 22 older 78-seat units. The remaining ten Q400s (of which all but one are younger than two years) are configured for up to 90 passengers.

The Indian airline normally operates five dedicated-freighters under its Spice Xpress brand - three B737-700(F)s and two -800(F)s.