To meet the huge demand and to do its bit in the fight against coronavirus (covid-19), Lufthansa is currently operating two daily flights carrying protective equipment from China to Munich Airport with Airbus A350 long-range jetliners.
Under normal circumstances, the German carrier’s A350 fleet carries passengers to intercontinental destinations in North and South America and in Asia.
The special daily cargo flights from Beijing and Shanghai are predominantly loaded with masks that are urgently needed in the Bavarian capital.
Employees of Munich Airport’s ground handling subsidiary AeroGround are unloading the arriving aircraft and the cargo is then transported to its final destinations by freight forwarding companies contracted by the federal government.
Lufthansa is operating the cargo flights to Munich with four Airbus A350 passenger aircraft and is flying similar missions with six Airbus A330 planes based in Frankfurt.
With these 10 passenger airliners, Lufthansa has created additional air freight capacity and expanded the Lufthansa Cargo fleet, which has 17 freight-only aircraft.
The daily cargo flights with the passenger jets are expected to continue at least until mid-May.
In order to increase cargo volume, particularly for the transport of comparatively light goods such as protective masks, Lufthansa announced last week that it would be removing parts of the cabin interior, including seats, of initially four of its aircraft.
Lufthansa is not the first airline to remove seats in order to create extra space for cargo, with, Israeli airline EL AL having also removed the passenger seats from some of its Boeing 777 aircraft to enable higher volumes of cargo to be transported following the global coronavirus outbreak.
Safety products company Trip & Co recently announced it had developed a new solution that will enable airlines using passenger cabins for air cargo transportation to increase safety, efficiency and ease.
Visit lufthansa-cargo.com for more information.