Lufthansa coins "preighter" term for passenger-cargo flights

5 May 2020 by Alex McWhirter
Lufthansa A330

Germany’s Lufthansa has coined the term “preighter” for its burgeoning passenger-cargo business.

As we reported last week, more and more carriers are jumping on the passenger-cargo bandwagon.

The idea is a simple one. It’s to keep grounded passenger aircraft aloft so as to earn vital revenue.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr says there is currently “only high demand for air freight [not passengers].”

“In addition to our entire [regular] cargo fleet we have operated 70 cargo flights using A330 passenger aircraft.”

“We call these “Preighters” a combination of passenger aircraft and freighter.”

Swiss World Cargo 04

As we reported before (see above) fellow Lufthansa Group member Swiss is operating a multitude of similar flights while another member, Austrian, operates daily cargo flights between Vienna and China to collect medical supplies.

Austrian has removed 270 of the 306 seats from two B777-200s to give a 35 per cent increase in cargo capacity.

Most of these aircraft are being deployed to bring medical supplies from Asia to Europe.

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has now devised a way for airlines operating A330/A350 aircraft to easily convert the passenger space for freight.

Other airlines boosting passenger-cargo flights include:

KLM's 'Cargo in Cabin' service
  • Ethiopian Airlines has followed Kenya Airways (see previous report). It has converted four B777-300ERs to bring in medical supplies from China for distribution to 54 African countries

  • United now operates 21 passenger-cargo flights weekly (using B777-300ER and B787-10s) from Frankfurt to seven US destinations including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles
  • Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific has started passenger-cargo flights using one or more B777-300ERs taking urgent medical supplies,,,,,,,,

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