Asiana converts A350 to temporary freighter
ASIANA Airlines has begun operations with a re-designed Airbus A350-900 as a main-deck freighter, as it plans flights with its grounded A380s, reports London's Air Cargo News
12 October 2020 - 19:00
The work on the A350 will include the removal of 283 economy class seats and the installation of a steel panel on the floor. The modification will allow an additional five tonnes of cargo to be carried, making the total to 23 tonnes.
It'll be the first time an A350 has been converted for freighter work, as Asiana A350s are typically held with 283 economy seats and 28 business class seats.
The decision was made to help profitability during the Covid pandemic, which has greatly hindered passenger traffic.
After being modified, the jet had its first flight of 20 tonnes of IT equipment and electrical parts on September 23 from Seoul Incheon to Los Angeles.
Airbus has assisted with work on the process, which has gotten the approval by the European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA).
Other than the A350, the airline has modified a pair of Boeing 777-200ERs, allowing them to carry freight in the passenger cabin.
In August Asiana reported that cargo operations helped it achieve a second-quarter operating profit of US$140 million, compared with a $92 million loss in the same period of 2019.
Meanwhile, the airline is promoting a pair of scenic flights using its A380s, which will be operated on October 24 and 25. They will depart from Seoul Incheon at 11 AM for a two-hour flight over South Korean landmarks, including Jeju Island.
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