Many airlines converted their passenger aircraft to carry additional cargo as market demand shifted in recent months. Pulling seats out of the cabin to make room for additional boxes helps the airlines realize better revenue through this challenging time. In early May Lufthansa Technik noted that it even had a request from an A380 owner for such a conversion, but declined to name the airline.
The smart money was on HiFly as the operator and that now is known to be the case. Even better, the airline delivered a short video to show off the inside of its A380, now flying without seats on the main deck to make room for significantly more cargo.
This “CovidCombi” aircraft now offers 300 cubic meters of capacity and can fly with nearly 60 tons of cargo on board.
Since the conversion the A380 has flown medical supply missions from Tianjin, China to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and to Montreal, Canada with the increased cargo loads.
Given that the A380 has no real future as a true cargo aircraft (i.e. containers on the main deck, not just in the belly) this is likely the only time we’ll see the Whale flying with so much freight on board. And that’s awesome, even if it is for less than wonderful reasons.
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