Regular readers may have seen my two recent pieces on how airlines are utilising otherwise grounded aircraft as freighters.
Until now the conversions have been on aircraft like B777s and A330s.
But now the largest aircraft in the sky is to be converted to cargo operation.
Hamburg-based Lufthansa Technik, a subsidiary of Germany’s national airline, is currently undertaking the work for an unnamed airline.
Our new services for temporary operational changes from passenger to cargo aircraft have met with great interest in the market: Among enquiries from more than 40 airlines the support of a first #A380 is a special highlight for us https://t.co/uS0SNplRU8 #keepyouflying pic.twitter.com/5h1D4pzyjM
— Lufthansa Technik (@LHTechnik) May 5, 2020
According to Aerotelegraph the unnamed airline is not a German carrier.
Says Lufthansa Technik “Normally an aircraft that has been approved for passengers cannot simply be loaded with cargo in the [passenger] cabin as the approval criteria for passenger cabins and cargo compartments are completely different.”
“For example cargo has a different floor load which is lighter than for a cargo aircraft.”
Lufthansa Technik is “currently working flat out” to obtain certification for all common aircraft types so that airlines around the world can quickly convert their passenger aircraft into auxiliary freighters.
One airline I omitted from my recent piece on Lufthansa’s ‘preighter’ is Japan’s ANA.
It has converted one of its large aircraft to bring urgent medical equipment from China to Japan.
We’ve modified our passenger cabin space to transport medical supplies from China to Japan. We’re now able to transport 1.4 times as much cargo as usual to ensure masks and protective clothing can be sent to in-need communities. pic.twitter.com/sUdCYsi2qL
— @FlyANA_official (@FlyANA_official) April 23, 2020