British Airways took delivery of two Boeing 787-10 aircraft at the start of July, and the airline is already putting them to good use. While they had planned for the plane to serve passenger routes, the current situation provided an opportunity for something slightly different.
Many airlines have been turning to keep freight moving in the absence of scheduled passenger operations. After all, with many passenger flights grounded, a large amount of freight capacity in the bellies of those flights has also been grounded. British Airways is working with IAG Cargo to make the most of this situation.
IAG Cargo is an interesting cargo airline. While acting as the freight arm of the International Airlines Group, it doesn’t have any of its own aircraft. Recently, the group has seen an increased demand for cargo services around the world, and given its unique position in the IAG group, has also found a surplus of aircraft at its disposal.
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IAG Cargo has found the Boeing 787-10 to be useful for moving cargo around, given its increased payload capabilities. The airliner can hold up to 13 pallets of cargo, with a maximum take-off weight of over 250 tonnes, 22 tonnes more than the 787-8.
Working with Boeing
IAG Cargo and British Airways have been working together with Boeing to make the most of the 787-10 as a cargo aircraft. According to the IAG Cargo, the group has been building a complete understanding of the capabilities of the plane, including its uplift and volumetric constraints.
They have been working to understand how the aircraft can be used to carry everything from pharmaceuticals, animals, and even perishable items that must be transported with dry ice. Commenting on introducing the 787-10 to cargo service, IAG Cargo Network Manager, Nic Nyamatore said,
“The new Boeing 787-10 offers more cargo capacity in the bellyhold, all while being more fuel efficient – an essential move when getting our customers’ freight where it needs to be.”
Needed now more than ever
The additional cargo capacity of the Boeing 787-10 will be needed now more than ever. British Airways earlier this month revealed that it wouldn’t be returning the Boeing 747 to service. As such, when flights do get up and running, the cargo capacity of these aircraft will be lost.
As far as British Airways and IAG Cargo are concerned, the 787-10 and the 777-300 are now its largest freight-carrying aircraft in the absence of any dedicated freighters. Earlier in the current crisis, British Airways removed the seats from two 777s to increase their payload. These two aircraft are being used by IAG Cargo to ferry personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns to the United Kingdom from Shanghai and Beijing.
Since entering service, British Airways has primarily been using the 787-10 for services to and from Dallas. In the past few days, one has also been flying to Seattle.
Have you seen one of British Airways’ new Boeing 787-10s? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!