As airlines around the world explore every available means of making profit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KLM has joined the league of airlines carrying cargo in the passenger cabin.
Yesterday, KLM’s Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft departed Shanghai to Amsterdam, carrying cargo not only in its belly, but on the passenger seats and in the baggage bins of the aircraft cabin.
The load consisted mainly of urgent medical supplies, including hundreds of thousands of face masks and protective gowns to be used in combating coronavirus. The new cargo carrying concept makes additional space available to ship personal protective equipment (PPE) such as this.
Around 500 packages of equipment can be carried in the cabin on each flight. If the trial proves successful, KLM will also operate to Beijing and Hong Kong, deploying three Boeing 777s to operate the Cargo-in-Cabin flights.
The Boeing 747-400 combi flights currently re-entering service on these routes will soon be reconfigured to be similarly deployed. The packages will be bound to the passenger seats and stowed in the baggage bins.
Cargo-in-Cabin significantly increases capacity. The amount of cargo that can be accommodated in the cabin equates to around six large pallets in the belly or 40% of the total cargo capacity.