Finnair remodels two Airbus A330 aircraft for cargo
Finnair has modified two Airbus A330 aircraft for cargo use by removing economy class seats from the cabin to increase the freight capacity of the aircraft by accommodating cargo in the cabin as well as in the cargo hold.
As the demand for passenger traffic increases, the planes can also be returned to passenger operations quickly.
With these changes, the cargo capacity of the aircraft up to doubles. The free cabin space will be used mainly for shipping supplies needed in the coronavirus pandemic. In normal times, about half of the world’s freight is carried in passenger aircraft. Passenger traffic has recently dropped dramatically due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has decreased the availability of cargo. As the global logistic network has become less accessible, there’s now increasing demand for urgent cargo shipments.
“Functioning logistic connections are always critical for the world economy, but their meaning is heightened during the crisis. To ensure the availability of national emergency supplies, it’s important to be able to access goods from another continent in a matter of hours,” said Mikko Tainio, managing director of Finnair Cargo.
The Airbus A330 cabin is especially well suited for carrying lighter freight, as the loading happens through the regular doors. About half of the existing capacity of the wide-body aircraft is already reserved for cargo below the cabin.
In April and May, Finnair has been flying cargo to the large cities in China, Japan and Korea, as well as Tallinn and Brussels in Europe. Last week Finnair also started cargo flights to New York and Bangkok.
“By offering cargo connections between different continents, we can do our part to help the world to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Thanks to the demand for cargo, we’ve been able to keep more of our planes in the sky and people employed both in the air and in our terminal operations,” said Tainio.