Airbus Develops Design Tweak to Allow Planes to Carry More Cargo

(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE is working on a design tweak for some of its widebody aircraft to allow the removal of passenger seats and loading of cargo directly onto cabin floors, a move that could ease the shortage of air freight capacity.

The modification on its A330 and A350 models will allow added room for cargo after long-haul planes were grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic, the manufacturer said in a statement Thursday.

The global health crisis has led the halt of fleets worldwide while at the same time driving demand for air freight capacity to transport emergency medical supplies like masks and other protective medical gear made in countries like China. Airlines have turned to cargo flights to bring in badly-needed revenue after passenger demand dried up following government lockdown measures that halted air travel.

Earnings from cargo operations can help airlines narrow their losses, with the industry facing $252 billion revenue shortfall from passenger operations this year, according to industry body IATA. Airlines including Korean Air Lines Co., Delta Air Lines Inc. and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. are using Airbus aircraft to transport freight.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.