**Update: 03/28/20 @ 16:45 UTC – A Lufthansa spokesperson shared more information about the cargo project; details below**
With much of its fleet grounded, Lufthansa has converted one of its Airbus A330-300s into a cargo plane. While the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on Germany, the airline is assisting in the transportation of important medical supplies from China.
China has now managed to effectively control the worst of the outbreak in the country following an incredibly tough few months. Now, other nations are looking to it for advice and resources. As a leading German company, Lufthansa is taking responsibility to help take important materials from China to to its home. It shared details of the project on its Twitter.
“Special mission for our “Kilo-India” to Shanghai and back: normally the A330 flies mainly passengers. This one was an all-cargo plane. To get humanitarian goods where they are most needed at the moment,” Lufthansa tweeted.
The plane headed back to Germany stacked with around 30 tons of special cargo. This includes protective equipment and medical supplies. To fit in as much as possible, freight was secured on the aircraft’s seats and in its overhead bins. This was on top of the products in the jet’s belly.
Special mission for our „Kilo-India“ to Shanghai and back: normally the A330 flies mainly passengers. This one was an all-cargo plane. To get humanitarian goods where they are most needed at the moment. (1/2) #WeAreInThisTogether pic.twitter.com/CNYYUz0i0T
— Lufthansa News (@lufthansaNews) March 25, 2020
Altogether, Lufthansa holds 15 A330-300s within its fleet. The first of these was delivered in March 2004 and the last one arrived in March 2014.
This particular unit, registration D-AIKI joined the airline in September 2005. According to Planespotters.net, this plane is the only Lufthansa A330 that is not being stored at the moment.
The whole group is having to ground 90 percent of its fleet as a result of the global crisis. Around 700 of its 763 aircraft are unable to hit the skies due to the lack of demand and international flight restrictions.
In addition to assisting with the delivery of important medical supplies, the German outfit is taking extra measures to help tackle the dire situation in the country.
According to a press release, its employees who have completed medical training can now be released swiftly on a voluntary basis. Therefore, they can be deployed in a medical facility that will need extra help.
Altogether, it is great to see Lufthansa recognize its role as a national institution, especially since it is going through a dire period itself with the economic damages caused amid the outbreak.
Simple Flying reached out to Lufthansa for comment on its aircraft reconfiguration. A spokesperson for the airline said that in emergency and crisis situations, logistics and airfreight are of particular importance.
In addition to urgent spare and machine parts, mainly sensitive pharmaceuticals and fresh goods are transported intercontinental by air. Additionally, a Boeing 777F freighter has a standard load capacity of 103 tons.
What are your thoughts on this Lufthansa’s Airbus A330 plane’s new role? Will we see more aircraft like this being converted this summer? Let us know what you think in the comment section.