Some would claim British Airways was slow off the mark. Unlike rivals including Lufthansa, BA has been tardy in converting grounded aircraft to full passenger-cargo operation.

Two of the carrier’s B777-200s have now been converted to true passenger-cargo operation at Cardiff with all seats removed to increase space.

As confirmed on the official IAG Cargo LinkedIn page, the converted aircraft offer an additional 100 cubic metres of cargo space with their seats removed.

Meanwhile BA continues to operate some aircraft taking PPE equipment from China to UK with cargo strapped to the seats.

The carrier is operating 14 flights a week between Shanghai and London, with a daily service out of Beijing. That’s a 50 per cent increase over recent weeks.

Other examples of passenger-cargo services include:

  • Delta, in common with other US carriers, awaits FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approval to carry cargo on the passenger deck. Meanwhile it’s found a temporary solution by stowing a limited amount in the overhead lockers.
  • Swiss has developed into a major player. Its cargo network continues to expand (including thrice daily to Beijing, twice daily Shanghai) and the map suggests Zurich is used as a transit point.

  • Austrian Airlines continues with B777 preighter flights to China, and has tweeted a picture of the preighter’s interior.

  • Finnair has removed seating from two A330s to increase cargo space.

  • Scandinavia’s SAS has jumped on the passenger-cargo bandwagon with a freight company booking space on the passenger deck of what’s believed to be an A340

  • Dublin-based Aer Lingus has been operating up to five daily A330 flights to Beijing to collect medical supplies for Ireland. Some readers may wonder why the premium seating remains. Well a) it’s probably too complex to remove easily and b) it accommodates the relief crew. As shown by Icelandair below.

  • Whatever happened to Germany’s holiday airline Condor? It was supposed to have been acquired by Poland’s LOT, but it never happened. Instead Condor turns to freight. reports it has converted 12 B767s for this purpose.

  • Kenya Airways survives (it currently operates no international scheduled services) by taking cargo to London and return.,,,,,,,,,