Lufthansa Removes All Seats From 4 Airbus A330 Aircraft

Lufthansa is in the process of removing all of the seats from four if its Airbus A330s. These…

Lufthansa Removes All Seats From 4 Airbus A330 Aircraft

Lufthansa is in the process of removing all of the seats from four if its Airbus A330s. These aircraft are being used as freighters. The action is in addition to using Airbus A350s to transport freight on the seats.

Six of Lufthansa’s A330-300s are being used as makeshift freighters. Photo: Oliver Roesler via Lufthansa

As its passenger operations have all but ground to a halt, Lufthansa has shifted its primary focus to moving freight. After all, cargo still needs to get from A to B. With significant numbers of passenger aircraft not flying, the capacity to carry cargo in aircraft holds has also decreased. This is why Lufthansa has turned some widebody aircraft into freighters.

A cargo focus

According to data from Planespotters, Lufthansa currently has 13 cargo aircraft. This is comprised of seven Boeing 777s, and six MD-11s. Lufthansa had been due to retire the MD-11s. However, this has now be postponed to keep them transporting cargo.

For Lufthansa, however, the 13 freight aircraft aren’t enough. The airline has been augmenting capacity with passenger aircraft. Lufthansa was one of the first airlines to begin flying with freight loaded on passenger seats. Now the airline is converting some aircraft to makeshift freighters.

Lufthansa, Airbus A330, Cargo Aircraft
Many passenger aircraft usually carry some cargo while operating typical flights. Photo: Lufthansa

Four converted A330s

According to the Lufthansa Cargo website, one of the airline’s A330-300s can carry 37,985 lbs of cargo in their cargo holds. However, the airline had begun placing boxes on passenger seats to maximise capacity in the absence of passengers.

Now, the airline has decided to convert four of its Airbus A330-300s into makeshift freighters by removing the interior seats. This has several benefits. Firstly, cargo is not limited by the space provided by the chairs.

Aer Lingus, Airbus A330, Bird Strike
Lufthansa was one of the first airlines to start loading boxes onto seats. Photo: Getty Images

Secondly, if cargo is not resting on a seat, there is no way the seat can be damaged. Finally, it is much easier to load and unload an empty space than one that is full of fixed seating. As such, a Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying that the airline had removed the seating from four of its Airbus A330-300s.

It is not immediately clear which aircraft have lost the seats, as six A330-300 aircraft are operating freight flights out of Frankfurt according to data from FlightRadar24.com. These are:

  • D-AIKH;
  • D-AIKI;
  • D-AIKN;
  • D-AIKO;
  • D-AIKP.

A350 cargo flights

In addition to the Airbus A330 conversions, Lufthansa is also using four Airbus A350s for cargo flights out of its Munich hub. These aircraft have retained their seating, for the time being, meaning that boxes are being loaded onto seats. According to Lufthansa, the Airbus A350s are mainly carrying face masks needed in Bavaria to Munich.

Lufthansa, Airbus A330, Cargo Aircraft
Four of the airline’s relatively new Airbus A350-900s are also carrying cargo. Photo: Lufthansa

Have you seen one of Lufthansa’s makeshift freighters in the skies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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What The Future Of Jet Airways Looks Like One Year On

Jet Airways suspended operations just over a year ago, but that doesn’t mean the airline is out of…

What The Future Of Jet Airways Looks Like One Year On

Jet Airways suspended operations just over a year ago, but that doesn’t mean the airline is out of the news. Since then, the airline has been actively seeking investors in hopes that it can pay its debts and fly again. So what does the future hold for Jet Airways in these uncertain times?

Jet Airways is currently looking for investors while undergoing insolvency proceedings. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia Commons

Many ‘potential investors’, but no actual investments

The last year has seen many possible investors show interest in the airline, meet with airline officials, but fall short of actually making an offer. This has become a cycle we have seen numerous times with several investors. There have been many reasons for this, such a lack of clarity on Jet’s airport slots, demand for further debt reduction, or simply not seeing enough value in the deal.

737 MAX Jet Airways
Jet Airways’ mountain of debt has held back many investors. Photo: Getty Images

Jet Airways has accumulated a shocking $2.96bn in liabilities, making any deal difficult. Lenders are willing to take a substantial haircut on this debt, but even a fraction of this amount will be a lot for investors. This debt alone has scared off many investors from even considering the airline, many of whom are looking at Air India instead, which is also up for privatization and is a far less risky investment.

Who is still looking at investing in Jet Airways?

Etihad was largely considered a front-runner for investing in Jet Airways, due to its previous 24% acquisition in the airline. However, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier decided not to invest due to its financial situation and investments. This opened the door to a number of new companies possibly jumping in.

Etihad Airways, Stored Aircraft, Maintenance
Etihad owns 24% of Jet Airways and was expected to rescue the airline. Photo: Etihad Airways

We saw the Hinduja Group, a conglomerate holding company, showing interest in the airline. After much deliberation, and media attention, the group decided to step away from the deal. This meant Jet now had no deep-pocketed investors wanting to bail out the airline. The airline saw bids from a Latin American Synergy Group, by-far the most committed bidders, the Far East Development Fund, a Russian-back investment firm (which had plans to merge the airline with Aeroflot and introduce the Sukhoi Superjet 100), and more.

Overall

All the bids filed never amounted to an actual resolution plan from any of the potential investors. Jet Airways’ creditors have repeatedly extended the deadline for bids, even after three rounds of bidding. Many expected the airline to be declared bankrupt earlier this year when no bidder submitted a plan, but the creditors extended the deadline once again. It is interesting to note that bidders may not receive many tangible assets from the deal.

At this point, it seems the creditors are simply praying for possible investments. With the coronavirus bringing global aviation to a halt, it seems impossible that anyone would look to invest in a grounded airline with billions in debt. Barring a miracle, it seems the Jet Airways story has come to an end.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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