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Korean Air, Scoot, Cathay mull using passenger planes as freighters


KOREAN AIR said it plans to deploy passenger aircraft that have been idled to carry cargo on flights to Qingdao from March 21, reports London's FlightGlobal.

Korean's Parent Hanjin Group said that using passenger aircraft would help "overcome the current crisis, as this would cut down expenses and support import and export companies".

"As the Covid-19 situation becomes increasingly dire, it is important for us to take a new perspective when looking at the market," said Hanjin chairman Walter Cho.

"If we use the cargo compartment of our parked passenger aircraft, not only can we respond to the changing demand of cargo transport by diversifying our cargo routes, but we can also reduce aircraft parking fees," he said.

"The business strategies of passenger and cargo should be shifted as the transatlantic [air routes are] now blocked. We must flexibly respond to market demand," said Mr Cho.

Last week, Scoot confirmed to London's Air Cargo News that it would operate "belly-hold freight charters" flights on behalf of parent Singapore Airlines' cargo arm in March.

The flights will operate from Singapore to Guangzhou and Nanjing utilising Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which offer a cargo capacity of around 54 cubic metres. Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific said it was also utilising its passenger aircraft in the same way.

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