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decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:52 pm
by 330lover
Hi all,

was just thinking, with the decrease in demand for pax traffic due to Covid19, and the increase in cargo, would it make sense to rearrange pax aircraft into combi aircraft?
Like: keep the first cabin compartments of an A330/340/350 for pax and the last compartment for cargo with seats removed, just like a bunch of airlines have operated full cargo flights with pax aircraft?

Have no idea about certifications and regulations, was just wondering if this would be something doable?
What do you guys think?

Thanks for any usefull info ;)

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:00 pm
by Canuck600
Probably not worth the expense to install cargo bulkheads given it's not known how long the increase in cargo traffic will last.

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:24 pm
by cschleic
Isn't there an issue with not being able to certify any new combi aircraft, at least in some countries, for fire protection reasons? Older existing ones were grandfathered but...they're all grounded or gone now anyway.

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:33 pm
by jetblueguy22
Remember the cargo lift shortage wasn’t a problem so much because of extra cargo flying, but capacity being removed from the market with the passenger airlines not flying. As the world moves back to normal the capacity is going to come back in the market. The long term capacity increases will be with FX/5X/DHL/Amazon now that online shopping is an even bigger thing than Pre Covid.

The other side of it is today’s widebodies are essentially combi’s already. The 777 and A350 are cargo hauling monsters. The just don’t carry it on the main deck.

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:18 pm
by Canuck600
cschleic wrote:
Isn't there an issue with not being able to certify any new combi aircraft, at least in some countries, for fire protection reasons? Older existing ones were grandfathered but...they're all grounded or gone now anyway.


I think that's mostly a issue with moveable bulkheads?

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:28 pm
by andrew1996
What makes the 77W belly so large for cargo compared to the 744 or a388. Is it because it has a smaller fuel tank or a different location? Talking about tuebqctual capacity without considering efficiency or even pax bags. What is the usual ratio of the belly for cargo to pax bags

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:57 pm
by lightsaber
jetblueguy22 wrote:
Remember the cargo lift shortage wasn’t a problem so much because of extra cargo flying, but capacity being removed from the market with the passenger airlines not flying. As the world moves back to normal the capacity is going to come back in the market. The long term capacity increases will be with FX/5X/DHL/Amazon now that online shopping is an even bigger thing than Pre Covid.

The other side of it is today’s widebodies are essentially combi’s already. The 777 and A350 are cargo hauling monsters. The just don’t carry it on the main deck.

This needs to be emphasized. About half of cargo (and growing, pre-Covid19) is belly cargo.
As you already noted, the 777, A350, and 787-10 are already combis. Most can stop reading here, some data:

For Australia, 80% of cargo was going out as belly freight! :faint:

https://www.smh.com.au/business/compani ... 55m69.html

Rates have dropped. China to USA was $10.21/kg, dropped to $4.38/kg and bounced up to $5.17/kg

https://www.stattimes.com/news/covid19- ... cargo/amp/

We are in a situation where supply and demand is balancing out. At today's rates, only belly cargo or dedicated freighters will make a decent return on investment.

I speculate the the 'light freighters' (passenger planes without seats an f/a as fire wardens) are only flying when offered enough with capacity being held in check by reduced utilization. That type of freighter, with weight and volume restrained by the lack of a proper freight system, has poor economics. As soon

FAA has now approved the light freighters for US airlines, this ensures rates will drop as supply will catch up to demand:
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/exclu ... -naked/amp

Lightsaber

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:53 pm
by trex8
There is no regulatory prohibition to combis, its just so darn expensive to get a certifiable bulkhead which meets post SAA 295 etc regulations its not worth it for most manufacturers/airlines. The only recent combis have been AS conversions of 737-400s as some out of the way destinations in Alaska just need these types to replace the older 737-200 combis.

Just wondering would it be technically easier to make a A380 a combi, separate decks and somehow partition off the staircase or even eliminate it?

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:53 am
by NameOmitted
trex8 wrote:
The only recent combis have been AS conversions of 737-400s as some out of the way destinations in Alaska just need these types to replace the older 737-200 combis.


It's worth rembering that even here, when AS retired the -400 they went with full freighter -700s instead of a new generation of combis.

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:50 pm
by tomcat
330lover wrote:
Hi all,

was just thinking, with the decrease in demand for pax traffic due to Covid19, and the increase in cargo, would it make sense to rearrange pax aircraft into combi aircraft?
Like: keep the first cabin compartments of an A330/340/350 for pax and the last compartment for cargo with seats removed, just like a bunch of airlines have operated full cargo flights with pax aircraft?

Have no idea about certifications and regulations, was just wondering if this would be something doable?
What do you guys think?

Thanks for any usefull info ;)


There hasn't been any increase in cargo demand. It has actually decreased over the past few months but the decrease of cargo capacity supply has been greater than the decrease in demand. The temporary supply shortages have been dealt with by using pax aircraft for cargo-only flights. As soon as long-haul passenger traffic will pick-up again, the cargo capacity supply shortages will gradually disappear.

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:51 pm
by B6JFKH81
Here in TPA, PEMCO conversions just did a conversion on a B737-700 from full pax to a combi, I think the STC may have just been released, not sure though.

Some information from last year here:
https://cargofacts.com/allposts/equipme ... nears-stc/

Re: decreased pax traffic, increased cargo traffic - could rearranged pax/freight combi aircraft work?

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:39 pm
by 330lover
Thanks for the replies so far.