British Airways Now Has 2 Boeing 777s Converted For Freight

British Airways has finished converting a second Boeing 777 aircraft into a makeshift freighter. The British flag carrier…

British Airways Now Has 2 Boeing 777s Converted For Freight

British Airways has finished converting a second Boeing 777 aircraft into a makeshift freighter. The British flag carrier is using the two jets to ferry PPE to the United Kingdom from China.

British Airways has converted a second Boeing 777 into an all-cargo configuration. Photo: IAG Cargo

Recently there has been a trend in airlines removing seats from passenger aircraft to convert them into makeshift freighters. Given the current pandemic, there has been an enormous surge in demand to move PPE to Europe and elsewhere. However, with passenger flights grounded, cargo capacity fell.

First, airlines operated empty flights with cargo in the belly. Then they started to place light cargo onto seats in the cabin. However, now many are removing seats and using the floor for boxes.

Two Boeing 777s

British Airways has now converted two Boeing 777s to be used solely as makeshift cargo aircraft. IAG Cargo shared the news of the conversion on their Facebook page. By removing the seats onboard the aircraft, IAG Cargo has created an additional 100 meters cubed of space on each of the two 777s.

The first aircraft to receive the cargo treatment was G-YMMK, a 19-year-old Boeing 777-200. This aircraft spent ten days in Cardiff for its conversion from May 12th to May 22nd. We previously reported on this aircraft last weekend.

British Airways, China, Medical Supplies
The British flag carrier is using 777 aircraft to transport cargo. Photo: Getty Images

However, a second Boeing 777-200 has now also been converted. G-YMMG flew to London Heathrow yesterday, having had its cabin stripped out. It seems as though the maintenance staff spent less time than the first attempt, as this 19-year-old aircraft was only in Cardiff for five days from May 22nd to May 27th.

Beijing debut tomorrow

British Airways had been operating three flights per day with regular Boeing 777s to collect personal protective equipment for the NHS from China. Seven flights per week to Beijing and 14 to Shanghai.

While both Boeing 777s have remained on the ground at London Heathrow since returning from Cardiff, they will soon be put to work for their purpose. One of the makeshift freighters will make its first flight tomorrow, heading to Beijing to collect another load of PPE bound for the UK’s National Health Service.

British Airways, Cargo Flights, China
The airline had been loading cargo into the aircraft’s cabin. Photo: British Airways

Past cargo operations

The British Airways livery used to adorn three Boeing 747-8 cargo aircraft. These three aircraft were wet-leased from Global Supply Systems and were all delivered in the British Airways World Cargo livery in late 2011.

British Airways, Boeing 777, Cargo Configuration
The British Airways livery previously adorned three Boeing 747-8Fs. Photo: Boeing

However, British Airways World Cargo stopped operating on April 30th, 2014. The business merged into IAG Cargo. While the group continues to move cargo around the world for IAG, it has no dedicated cargo aircraft. As a result, we have seen several aircraft from British Airways and Aer Lingus being used solely for cargo flights since the current crisis began.

British Airways has been using older 777 aircraft for cargo operations. Meanwhile, its competitor, Virgin Atlantic, has been using its newer Boeing 787 aircraft to move freight from China to the United Kingdom.

What do you make of British Airways’ two new Boeing 777 freighters? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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JetBlue’s ABC Of Encouraging Passengers To Wear Masks

With all US airlines now recommending the wearing of masks, some have done a better job than others…

JetBlue’s ABC Of Encouraging Passengers To Wear Masks

With all US airlines now recommending the wearing of masks, some have done a better job than others of enforcing this new rule. JetBlue’s CEO, Robin Hayes, has explained today how his crew members encourage mask-wearing at all times, and how persuasion can often be as easy as A, B, C.

JetBlue is enforcing mask-wearing on board, but nicely. Photo: Getty Images

Not all US airlines are enforcing the wearing of masks

Of all the US airlines that are now mandating masks on flights, JetBlue was the first to take this bold step. But asking passengers to wear masks and making them comply with this request are two very different things.

Some airlines have come under fire for not insisting on mask-wearing. A Reuters report suggested that, while boarding can be denied to non-mask wearers at the gate, once onboard, it is something of a free-for-all.

Citing an American Airlines policy, Reuters said that, once on board, flight attendants were advised that their roles are, “informational, not enforcement, with respect to the face covering policy.”

TSA Facemasks
Passengers across the US are being encouraged to wear masks to travel. Photo: Getty Images

For Southwest Airlines, the policy is even more lenient, with CNN reporting flight crews are told not to deny boarding if someone is not wearing a face covering.

Over at JetBlue, however, the airline is taking a much more proactive approach. In an interview with Washington Post this afternoon, JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes explained how convincing passengers to wear a mask was as easy as A, B, C.

Managing conflict

Hayes, who has recently taken a 50% pay cut, noted JetBlue’s commitment to ensuring the safety of both passengers and crew on flights. Alongside guaranteed social distancing until July, he explained how his airline gets more people wearing masks in flight. He said,

“We know that face masks aren’t great to wear. We do know it’s a significant mitigant, so we are asking all our customers to wear face masks. Our in-flight crew members are amazing at persuading people sometimes to do things they don’t want to do, so we trained them in how to manage conflict.

“We call it the ABC’s: Ask, Bargain and Convince. When we go through that, most customers do wear the mask.”

JetBlue-Shares-Up-Despite-Coronavirus
The airline makes mask encouragement as easy as A, B, C. Photo: JetBlue

Some questions have, of course, been raised over the practicalities of wearing a mask. What about, for instance, when you want to take a drink or have a bite to eat? Some people may have a medical condition that makes wearing a mask for a prolonged period more difficult. Hayes explained how his crew members take a pragmatic approach to these situations.

“If someone refuses to put a mask on before they board the airplane, we won’t let them board. If they’re in the air and they take their mask off, if maybe they have a medical issue or if they want to have something to eat or drink… let’s use some common sense! There are times you could need to drop your mask to do something.”

A social obligation

Altogether, it sounds like JetBlue has got a handle of the mask-wearing issue, and as yet, there have been no incidents on board. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t prepared to take a hard line if passengers are wantonly non-compliant. Hayes explained,

“If you want to sit there and just not wear it, then, unfortunately, we’re going to have to review whether we want that person to fly JetBlue again.

“Thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet. But the safety of our customers and our crew members is paramount. This is the new flying etiquette and, at least until there’s a different solution to this, we’re going to have to accept that wearing a mask is less about protecting ourselves but more one of our social obligations to protect each other.”

JetBlue
JetBlue has sadly lost six crew members to COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

For JetBlue, the situation has hit home in a very personal way. The airline has lost six crew members to COVID-19, something that CEO Robin Hayes took time out of his earnings results call to remember. He closed the interview by saying that, once the coronavirus crisis has abated, JetBlue will be thinking up a more permanent (and no doubt inspirational) way to pay tribute to its six employees.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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