IAG Cargo unveils Iberia A330 preighter, to fly between Madrid and Los Angeles
IAG Cargo has unveiled a new Iberia A330 ‘preighter’ service – a wide-body aircraft where all of the seats have been removed to make space for cargo in the passenger cabin. The Iberia A330-300 conversion comes ahead of air cargo’s peak season as demand grows for additional cargo services.
It took the team one week to remove the seats on the plane and just a few weeks to fully convert the aircraft, with all economy, premium economy seats and crew rest removed along with separation panels. The service will fly between Madrid and Los Angeles four times weekly. Carpeting was reinstalled with lights to indicate the 33 cargo positions. Any cargo flying on board will be held in place with netting fastened to floor rails where the seats were anchored. The aircraft now has the capacity to carry more than 200 cubic metres of cargo.
Commenting on the conversion, Fernando Terol Armas, IAG Cargo’s director of Spanish hub and operations, said, “It’s been exciting to work with Iberia to provide this service, which will enable our customers to keep operating at optimum speed and efficiency. We are seeing increasing demand from customers and shippers for a more tailored service, which is increasingly important as we approach peak season. For distant markets, air freight makes a global logistics programme possible."
He added, "IAG Cargo has a wide network, and with the strength of five airlines, we can quickly adapt and diversify depending on our customers’ needs. This latest offering is another example of our bespoke solutions for customers across the world."
This is the first ‘preighter’ operation across Iberia aircraft, though the service is available across other IAG airlines and has been available upon request since March.