Airbus A340-600 P2F
Operations that involve the transport of goods on th Airbus A340-600 P2F, without passengers, in exceptional situations for eventual cases that requires this type of service.
It allows the transport of the maximum capacity of cargo, with all quality and safety guarantee during the pickup, the route and the discharge of all the material.
This type of service is adapts itself to the requirement of the client:
Only bulk cargo
It implies cargo in specific holders, carrying all type of good suitable for being transport by air and under the most strict security controls on board. In this case, the aircraft keeps its cabin configuration as usual.
Only cabin cargo in the Airbus A340-600 P2F
For this type of service, the cargo is distributed in different bulks across all the cabin space of the Airbus A340-600 P2F, whose seats has been removed previously and adapted to the transport of this goods. It ensures a mayor capacity of transport under the most strict security controls on board.
Combined cargo (cabin and bulk) in the Airbus A340-600 P2F
Increase the total cargo capacity of the Airbus A340-600 P2F, combining both preceding services, adapting the transport to the type of goods that the client need to move.
For most of the aviation sector, the coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented disaster. But for Aircharter.com, it has created an opportunity – and a potential new lease of life for a long out-of-favour widebody.
AirCharter.com, based in New York USA, had specialised in aircraft conversions and trading since abandoning a passenger aircraft charter business following the 2008 financial crisis, although it retained its own relationship with air operator.
But after responding to an urgent request to transport personal protective equipment from Malaysia to the US three months ago, we believe cargo will continue to be an under-served market as the industry recovers, and plans to be operating up to 10 Airbus A340 and A339 converted-freighters by the end of the year.
It started when we received a call from a US company trying to procure urgent PPE as the coronavirus crisis intensified in early April of 2020. We decided to commission as improvised freighters two former Virgin Atlantic quadjets the our partner had acquired in late 2019 – obtaining approval from the Maltese authorities, where AirCharter.com has partners with existing AOCs.
“Somebody obviously knew we had the aircraft and that we could react quickly,” It took 17 days from that first phone call, to us operating our first flight.”
The company flew its first cargo service on 24 April 2020 and has since completed more flights using five former Virgin Atlantic A340-600s along with an ex-Eithad Airways example. The first missions were completed with the seats still in place, but since then AirCharter.com’s partner removed the internal fittings to create additional capacity, allowing it to fill the passenger cabin with lightweight packages under a temporary exemption from the the US and European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
With the seats removed, the A340-600 can carry 60,000kg (80,400lb) of freight in the passenger cabin in addition to 52,000kg or 14 PMC containers in the belly. However, because the cargo carried in the main cabin comprises mostly light boxes, “we bulk out before we weight out”.
High fuel prices doomed the A340 programme a decade ago, with most of the remaining fleet being retired with the onset of coronavirus. However, that with fuel now at almost historically low levels, the world’s longest airliner becomes a highly effective freighter. “The A340-600 has fantastic range. You can carry large loads as long as you are sensible about what you put upstairs,”
another factor for a successful freight operation using converted passenger aircraft is the efficiency with which they can be loaded at the airport. AirCharter.com’s partners uses a conveyor ramp and an on-board roller system for the upper deck, easing the manual loading process. “We have got our loading times right down and can unload and load in 4h,”.
Regulatory requirements for operating improvised freighters and temporary visa restrictions associated with the pandemic have been challenges. Each flight has a crew of three or four pilots, together with two cabin crew, two flight engineers and two wardens – more than the rules require but reflecting a “safety first” philosophy.
We now wants to apply for a supplemental type certificate that would allow AirCharter.com partners to permanently convert passenger A340s to freighters. The programme will include the installation of fire suppression equipment but not a large freight door. “Our aim is to have the AirChrter.com by the end of September,”.
We are confident that demand for cargo flights will continue to outpace supply even as passenger flights resume. “No one would be happier than me if the world got back to normal, but that may not be for several years,”. “We will be bringing in PPE for a long time, including gloves and face masks, at least into 2022.”
The other driver will be a rise in online shopping, which will continue to drive the need for specialist cargo flights, he believes. “We would like to see AirCharter.com emerge with a fleet of freighters, a nice little operation. Even post-Covid, online shopping won’t go away and the demand will still be there.”
Call our cargo specialist at 1 (415) 464-0400