With many passenger scheduled flights grounded due to reduced demand and government-imposed limitations worldwide, freight operators are seeking other ways to deliver cargo capacity. Some airlines are using their passenger aircraft with only belly capacity for cargo carriage.

We recommend following COVID-19 airline updates available for ch-aviation PRO subscribers for the latest updates. We have a special daily tracker called “Carriers deploy passenger aircraft as freighters.”

A more interesting move by some airlines is the quick conversion to additional cargo capacity by removing passenger seats from the cabin. A growing number of airlines around the world have begun reconfiguring their passenger aircraft as makeshift freighters, with cabin modification, to meet soaring demand for cargo capacity in the current COVID-19 global economic climate.

The ch-aviation fleets advanced module enables you to search for such aircraft.

For example, this Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER, registered as C-FIVX, had seats removed and is now used to carry more cargo than using just the belly capacity. We set this aircraft in cargo role.

ch-aviation fleets advanced subscribers are able to search for passenger aircraft in cargo role. You can use our “Aircraft Search” feature and select passenger aircraft type or model (or family) with setting “Cargo” as aircraft role search criteria.

For example, as of May 4, 2020, such search returns results of two active aircraft, one A320 from “Air Serbia” and 1 A319 from “FlyBosnia.”

We played a bit more and did a quick search that lasted less than one second to see what Boeing 777-300ERs are now in active service with seats removed for cargo roles:

Such query results with seven aircraft from “Air Canada” and “Ethiopian Airlines”:

Our data researchers are updating fleet data every day. More and more airlines are in talks with aircraft manufacturers about the conversion of its passenger aircraft to freighters.

Development in the industry are now very rapid, so stay tuned with the latest updates available for ch-aviation PRO subscribers.

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