Readers may remember our recent piece regarding Lufthansa Technik’s conversion of an A380 for cargo use.
At the time Lufthansa Technik declined to divulge the customer’s name.
But Business Traveller can now reveal it is the Portuguese charter airline Hi Fly.
Take a look inside the Hi Fly Airbus A380-800, that is now able to offer more than 300m3 of volume capacity and close to 60 tons of cargo.#A380 #CargoFlights #HiFly #HiFlyAirline #9HMIP #WeFlyWeCare #Covid_19 https://t.co/okMt8Auia7
— Hi Fly (@hifly_airline) July 7, 2020
As regular readers will know Hi Fly acquired one of the early A380s which Singapore Airlines (SIA) had retired.
Hi Fly was operating its superjumbo with the original SIA interior complete with the luxury first (suites) and comfortable business class accommodation.
Certainly Hi Fly’s A380 has been busy. In May it operated cargo flights from Europe to China and then to Santo Domingo.
AROUND THE WORLD IN FOUR DAYS ✈️🌎💙 #HiFly #A380 #9HMIP with departure and arrival from Beja, Portugal, covered 31047 km in a flight time of 33 hours and 45 minutes, with stops in Tianjin, P.R. China, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
📸 Cpt. Carlos Mirpuri and his Crew pic.twitter.com/ZDQNIMI46V
— Hi Fly (@hifly_airline) May 18, 2020
Meanwhile we see Emirates, whose cargo division already operates 11 B777s serving 85 destinations, finally embrace passenger-cargo operation.
Emirates offers additional cargo capacity by modifying Economy Class cabins on 10 @BoeingAirplanes 777-300ER aircraft, in response to strong air cargo demand. https://t.co/ZoKE6LA5qo#EmiratesSkyCargo pic.twitter.com/EWIs1ncCvN
— Emirates Airline (@emirates) June 25, 2020
Emirates has modified ten of its B777-300ERs which will increase cargo capacity per aircraft by 17 tonnes in addition to the 40 or 50 tonnes carried in the cargo hold.
Swiss, one of first to realise passenger-cargo potential, recently converted another of its B777-300ERs to cargo operation.
Modification of a Boeing 777-300ER: In order to be able to transport additional cargo, the SWISS Economy seats were removed and the aircraft is converted into a so-called "CARRY-freighter" (Cargo with removed seats in Y-class). pic.twitter.com/FqGrcLAU9H
— Swiss Intl Air Lines (@FlySWISS) June 5, 2020
This video shows seating are removed and taken away for storage.
Some readers may wonder why Swiss has retained its premium seating on these passenger-cargo aircraft. The premium seating would be used for the relief crew or crews.
Of course it will depend on the final destination but, as with Aer Lingus’ Dublin-Beijing passenger-cargo operations, it means (crew) quarantine on arrival can be avoided.
When it comes to your #Cargo, we are privileged to take it where it needs to go. Each week we have an updated schedule that you can find at https://t.co/prMvqknGkF. You can also view it via our #KQCargoApp or email us on [email protected] ✈️🌍 pic.twitter.com/9ljPaZDiOw
— Kenya Airways (@KenyaAirways) July 8, 2020
Finally Kenya Airways has produced a “cargo timetable”, which shows how seriously the Nairobi-based airline takes its passenger-cargo operations now that most regular flights remain grounded.