LOT Polish Airlines In Talks With Boeing Over Temporary 787 Freighter Conversion

Continuing our coverage on airlines using their passenger aircraft for cargo, Polish carrier LOT is in talks with…

LOT Polish Airlines In Talks With Boeing Over Temporary 787 Freighter Conversion

Continuing our coverage on airlines using their passenger aircraft for cargo, Polish carrier LOT is in talks with Boeing to modify its 787 Dreamliner jets. The news, reported by Reuters earlier today, would mitigate the substantial loss in revenue experienced in the past month due to COVID-19.

Sibling airline LOT Polish already has a fleet of 787-8s. Photo: Mykhailo Slupitskyi via Wikimedia Commons.

“We are in talks with the aircraft manufacturer about … adapting the passenger aircraft (Dreamliner) to cargo transport…If we get approval and meet all safety requirements, we will become the first airline in the world that will adapt the Dreamliner for such transport.” -Michal Czernicki, LOT spokesperson

The rise in cargo demand

It is unclear at this point what kind of modifications the Boeing 787s would need to undergo in order to achieve LOT’s vision for cargo transport. The LOT Polish Airline fleet has 15 787 Dreamliners according to Airfleets. Of those 15, eight are the smaller -8 while the remaining seven are the larger -9 variant.

Cargo demand has experienced a surge due to urgent medical supplies needed all over the world to address the pandemic. However, this is only part of the story. As passenger flights have been drastically reduced, so has overall cargo capacity. This is because commercial passenger flights would normally transport cargo as well. With so many passenger operations suspended, airlines are looking for solutions to meet the demand – in the most efficient manner possible.
LOT Polish Airlines 787
LOT has 15 787s in its fleet. Photo: LOT Polish Airlines

An uneasy adaptation

It’s not all that easy to fully utilize a passenger aircraft for cargo transport – not efficiently at least. Yes – it’s normal practice to load items into the belly of the aircraft. However, that’s just a portion of an aircraft’s capacity. Just above the hold is a full cabin that might potentially remain empty as an aircraft flies across oceans.

We saw this recently with WestJet’s Dreamliners going from Dublin to Toronto to Atlanta with medical supplies. Cargo was loaded into the aircraft’s belly but up above was the passenger cabin full of empty seats.

Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways is using their A320s to transport cargo. Photo: Jazeera Airways

Some airlines have opted to keep their seats in but still use the cabin anyways. Aer Lingus has done this using special “seat bags”. Meanwhile, Jazeera Airways seems to have just wrapped things up in plastic for the on-seat cargo. From a pure cargo-efficiency perspective, this would be a waste of fuel as these aircraft are flying with the weight of hundreds of seats that serve no specific purpose.

Other airlines are taking a little more action by removing the seats from their passenger jets. A good example is Air Canada and their removal of seats from some 777-300s and Dash 8 turboprops.

The trouble in both cases is that passenger cabins are accessed by human-sized doors. This means that a fair amount of labor is involved in carrying goods into and out of the cabin. With seats installed, we can imagine this process would be even more cumbersome.

lot-polish-beijing-daxing
Could seats be removed for cargo to go on LOT Polish’s Dreamliners? Photo: LOT Polish Airlines.

Conclusion

It is extremely interesting that LOT is talking to Boeing about this. Could more serious modifications be in the cards for some of these 787s? Some extensive work could be done in order to convert a passenger aircraft into something like combi aircraft – one of the biggest modifications would be expanding the size of the door. We’ve asked the airline for details but at this time we’re not exactly sure what it has planned…

What do you think LOT intends to do as part of its freighter conversion? Will we see more than just seat removal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

American Airlines Doubles Time Passengers Must Be At The Gate

American Airlines has doubled the time that passengers should be at the gate before a domestic flight. The…

American Airlines Doubles Time Passengers Must Be At The Gate

American Airlines has doubled the time that passengers should be at the gate before a domestic flight. The US carrier has introduced the new guidelines as it continues to deal with the global crisis.

American Airlines is asking passengers to arrive at the gate earlier. Photo: Getty Images

Every airline has a set of guidelines for how early passengers should be at the gate. Miss this, and you could be offloaded from the flight. It can be tempted to cut it fine, and while it feels good when you just make it, missing a trip is a real hassle. Now American Airlines has altered its gate time guidelines.

What’s changed?

Previously American Airlines passengers were told to be at the gate by one of two times, depending on what flight they were taking. On a domestic flight, this stood at 15 minutes before departure or 30 minutes for an international trip. Both are pretty reasonable. However, the US carrier has now doubled this for some passengers.

According to new guidance spotted by The Points Guy, the American carrier now expects passengers to be at the gate 30 minutes before departure for domestic flights. This increases to 45 minutes for long haul flights.

american-airlines
Doors will now be closed 15 minutes before departure. Photo: Getty Images

Doors closing early

American Airlines has also changed the time that doors will be closed before flights. This has increased from 10 to 15 minutes, according to American. This explains why you can no longer arrive at the gate 15 minutes before the flight departs. Passengers will not be allowed to board the aircraft once the door has closed, and the airline reserves the right to reassign seats.

However, the 15-minute door rule appears to apply to all flights regardless of destination. Perhaps American Airlines is asking passengers to arrive at the gate earlier to allow for more time to prepare for boarding. Given the current guidelines on social distancing, some airlines have been evaluating their boarding procedures.

What are other airlines doing?

Last month Simple Flying reported that rival Delta Air Lines had adjusted its boarding policy. The carrier is only boarding ten passengers at a time to try to comply with social distancing. This would stop passengers needing to assemble in a jet bridge.

Delta A220
Delta Air Lines has changed some of its policies. Photo: Getty

Such a change means that boarding will take longer. However, it is possible that it wouldn’t take that much longer, given a current lack of passengers. Delta Air Lines has also begun to implement social distancing onboard its flights, leaving at least one seat between passengers in the economy section of the aircraft.

Of course, exceptions can be made if necessary, for example, families traveling with young children. It is the gate agents that deal with the request, so if American follows suit, it would also allow agents more time to sort such situations out.

What do you think of American Airlines’ new gate arrival guidelines? A significant change, or too much? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.