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An225
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Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:48 pm

Hello all,
As the Corona crisis is hitting hard the air transportation industry, and no remedy on the horizon, airlines are parking their fleets. However, some airlines in Israel are trying to operate as many cargo flights as possible. With no dedicated cargo aircraft, their only option is to utilize their pax configured planes. This is probably not optimal since these planes do not allow the use of the main deck for cargo.
Airlines trying such operations are LY (777 / 787) and IZ (Embraers and maybe A321NEO).

I am interested to hear what you think of such operations...
What would be the max cargo of a pax configured 772 and 788/9?
Is it still possible to use the main deck for cargo although these planes don't have an SCD/reinforced floor?
Would the complete dismantling of the pax cabin (e.g., seats, IFE, toilets, gallies, etc.) result in an increase of cargo weight?

Many thanks,

An225
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:43 pm

Making a pax airliner into a cargo hauler doesn’t happen overnight. Even if they took all the seats/galleys/restrooms out you still have to loose load any cargo you have to haul, can’t exactly fit a container or pallet through the passenger door. At that point you have to think it will just be more efficient to double trip an aircraft. It’s not ideal, but at this point everyone is doing things they wouldn’t have done 6 weeks ago
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:50 am

We've been doing this for weeks. Belly cargo only though.

Freighters around the world are flat out right now, in large part due to the lack of belly cargo capacity that would normally be available pax flights.

I know pax aircraft have been used in the past for humanitarian missions, by putting lighter things in the overhead bins, and strapping stuff into the seats with the belts. But this is a rather time-consuming process and not really scalable. Plus you now have lots of staff doing stuff in close proximity, which is unideal in these times.

As jetblueguy22 says, it is more efficient to just operate more flights. It isn't like there is a shortage of capacity at this time.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:00 am

Starlionblue wrote:
We've been doing this for weeks. Belly cargo only though.


Just to make sure I understand your statement correctly: Are airlines are making an effort to max out their belly cargo, on what (lightly boarded) flights are still in service? Do these involve new service agreements?
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
N47
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:09 am

Lufthansa has been loading passanger compartments with some boxes as well check out the following link, swipe left for the second photo.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-KHvGhiAM3/?igshid=wqmz8v73wtuo
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:48 am

rjsampson wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
We've been doing this for weeks. Belly cargo only though.


Just to make sure I understand your statement correctly: Are airlines are making an effort to max out their belly cargo, on what (lightly boarded) flights are still in service? Do these involve new service agreements?


I'm not really a cargo market expert, but I know that cargo prices are up due to a lack of capacity. So yes, of course you'd try to maximise revenue.

However, I meant there are passenger aircraft flying around with no passengers, carrying belly cargo only.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
An225
Topic Author
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:51 am

Thanks guys. Very intersting.

The LH pictures are great. Some of these boxes are pretty large. I wonder how did they manage to get them through passengers doors?

An225
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:54 am

An225 wrote:
Thanks guys. Very intersting.

The LH pictures are great. Some of these boxes are pretty large. I wonder how did they manage to get them through passengers doors?

An225


Lots of sweat and grunting involved, I imagine. Seeing as it is masks and such, they wouldn't be that heavy, though.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:03 am

Starlionblue wrote:

However, I meant there are passenger aircraft flying around with no passengers, carrying belly cargo only.


That answers my question Arch, and thank you.

From what I've gathered on these forums: Aircraft full of people and their bags under the floor (especially longhaul) have maybe 2-3% revenue generated from cargo. So I'm guessing that these empty aircraft are stuffing the LD3s or whatever with letters, boxes, etc. to the max (or at least significantly larger extent) than before?
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
shamrock137
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:48 am

Aer Lingus has redeployed their A330's to make runs to China to ship medical supplies directly to Ireland. No modifications to the interiors, just hold cargo and no passengers.
Time to spare? Go by air!
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:37 pm

An225 wrote:
What would be the max cargo of a pax configured 772 and 788/9?

The lower deck cargo capacity of a B77F is 57t. 30.6t in the fwd cargo compartment, 22.2t in the aft cargo compartment and 4.0t in the bulk cargo compartment. I'm not a weight and balance expert, so it might be less due to CG limitations, but it's something around that value. I assume it's the same on a B772 and probably more on a B773 or B744. With cargo prizes only doubled it would be profitable to fly a pax B772 as freighter, as the freighter can only haul 103t anyways.
 
hitower3
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:16 am

Austrian has operated a number of cargo-only flights from China to VIE using their 777-200ER. Two such flights were announced to have brought no less than 130t (65t per aircraft) back to Austria - an impressive figure for a pax-configured aircraft. Pictures showed boxes being stowed on pax seats and in the overhead bins.
Regarding economics, it must be noted that the freight rates have literally exploded over the last weeks, so I would not be entirely surprised if belly-only cargo ops could be viable on adequate aircraft (long widebodies like 773/77W/333/346/744/748, but rather not on a 380).
Hendric
 
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SAAFNAV
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:27 am

Then there is this STC that is being fast-tracked.
Ideal for large volume low weight, like boxes of masks.

https://www.flightglobal.com/air-transp ... 72.article
CFI/Gr. III, L-382 Loadmaster, ex C-130B Navigator
 
shamrock137
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:32 am

shamrock137 wrote:
Aer Lingus has redeployed their A330's to make runs to China to ship medical supplies directly to Ireland. No modifications to the interiors, just hold cargo and no passengers.


Looks like they were actually able to get approval to use the interior for lighter freight. Blog post with more details here. I think the difference in the original question is however that these are relief cargo supplies and not for profit dedicated freighters taking "traditional" cargo loads.

Image
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airnorth
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:35 am

some more temporary passenger conversions happening at Air Canada, and reported in another thread:
https://aircanada.mediaroom.com/2020-04 ... sary-Cargo
Lots of interesting information on the site.

Also discussed here:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1443797&start=250#p22148793
 
tu204
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:51 am

I don't see this pandemic ending anytime soon, at least not until the fall. Therefore it would make sense for airlines to reconfigure (pull seats to make more bulk room) on some aircraft to be able to at least use them, rather than have them ait around. That and plus it's not like they won't be making any money flying cargo.

Another question is why the FAA is so adamant on not allowing what numerous other authorities are. Puts US carriers at a disadvantage.
I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
 
trex8
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:57 pm

tu204 wrote:
Another question is why the FAA is so adamant on not allowing what numerous other authorities are. Puts US carriers at a disadvantage.


FAA has not said you can't, in other thread
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1442899&p=22160621#p22160621

https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviatio ... O20008.pdf
 
citationjet
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:41 am

So the Federal Aviation Administration says airlines may remove the seats from passenger aircraft and turn them into freighters.

The regulator laid out how the carriers could use “seat tracks to tie cargo down,” stow smaller pieces in overhead bins, and possibly strap containers behind bulkheads.

Airlines would need to properly balance the weight on the aircraft and develop fire prevention plans, because passenger compartments don’t have the specialized smoke detection systems used on freighters. One workaround: Stationing a single crew member to monitor for potential fires.

The agency called it “an extraordinary situation … for an entire passenger cabin to be loaded with cargo.”

Passenger aircraft bellies are already an essential link in the supply chain. But that capacity has dwindled as airlines slash their usual schedules. Repurposing the passenger aircraft fleet is another way to expand capacity for critical medical supplies. And rising air cargo prices offer struggling airlines a lifeline.

Some U.S. carriers are already hauling cargo in their bellies with the passenger compartment empty. In mid-March, American Airlines flew its first cargo-only flight since 1984. United added cargo-only routes this week, Southwest is offering its aircraft for cargo charters, and Delta is also operating cargo-only planes.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CNNBusiness/status/1251337662100881410
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,73G,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773,788.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:41 pm

I really don't think the idea of pulling seats and using the cabins for cargo are a real solution. Loading the cabin would a labor intensive and with floor loading limitations I doubt you could really haul enough to make it a realistic endeavor. Just using the bellies of widebodies is a quick an easy solution. with no passenger baggage there is a lot of capacity to be sold.

The biggest issue is it has to be sold. Right now no passenger airline is just going to start cargo only flights unless the space is sold. Somebody has to come to the airline and say I have x amount of cargo from here to there. Give me a price. The plane is not flying unless it is making money.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:08 pm

Dalmd88 wrote:
I really don't think the idea of pulling seats and using the cabins for cargo are a real solution. Loading the cabin would a labor intensive and with floor loading limitations I doubt you could really haul enough to make it a realistic endeavor. Just using the bellies of widebodies is a quick an easy solution. with no passenger baggage there is a lot of capacity to be sold.

The biggest issue is it has to be sold. Right now no passenger airline is just going to start cargo only flights unless the space is sold. Somebody has to come to the airline and say I have x amount of cargo from here to there. Give me a price. The plane is not flying unless it is making money.


Agreed on the seats. It is a big project. Then again loading in the cabin with the seats in place requires approvals, plus it is very labour intensive. The fact that loading in the cabin profitable at all in today's market says a lot about how much the total cargo space supply has decreased.

Sales aren't really a problem I think, for two reasons:
- Demand hasn't changed that massively. The reason for the massive shortage of cargo capacity is the fact that pax planes are mostly not flying. Most customers seeking air cargo services now were doing the same a year ago.
- The majority of airlines have always flown cargo even if they don't have dedicated freighters. So they were always selling cargo capacity. And it doesn't have to be sold directly to the customers. Freight brokers handle that.


On the subject, I found this rather amusing.

Image
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
chiki
Posts: 364
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Re: Using passenger aircraft as freighters during this crisis

Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:27 pm

hitower3 wrote:
Austrian has operated a number of cargo-only flights from China to VIE using their 777-200ER. Two such flights were announced to have brought no less than 130t (65t per aircraft) back to Austria - an impressive figure for a pax-configured aircraft. Pictures showed boxes being stowed on pax seats and in the overhead bins.
Regarding economics, it must be noted that the freight rates have literally exploded over the last weeks, so I would not be entirely surprised if belly-only cargo ops could be viable on adequate aircraft (long widebodies like 773/77W/333/346/744/748, but rather not on a 380).
Hendric
Air Zimbabwe just brought in 30t of cargo on a 767 200ER from Beijing via Sin
https://twitter.com/FlyAirZimbabwe/stat ... 92129?s=19Image

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