Airbus allows cargo conversion of A330 and A350s
Airbus is developing a modification for A330 and A350 family aircraft which will enable airlines to install freight pallets directly onto the cabin floor seat tracks, after removal of the economy-class seats.
This solution is designed to help with the airlines’ own business continuity, and also alleviate the global shortage of belly-freight capacity due to the widespread grounding of long-haul aircraft.
It will help the transportation of large quantities of medical equipment and other supplies in efforts against the spread of Covid-19.
Compared with loading cargo onto seats, Airbus‘ solution facilitates easier and quicker loading and unloading operations, as well as reduced wear and tear to the seats themselves.
The modification is packaged for operators as an Airbus Service Bulletin (SB). Under this arrangement Airbus defines the engineering workscope and also manages the process for obtaining the one-time certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Its scope includes the removal of the seats and IFE (in-flight entertainment), installation of cargo pallets and associated safety equipment – and also the re-installation of the original passenger cabin elements for reverting back to passenger operations.
The SB approach will also be valid beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.