SriLankan Airlines has converted a wide-body passenger aircraft into a dedicated cargo aircraft to support export industries and to keep the country connected with the global economy during the pandemic. This converted Airbus A330 aircraft will commence operations today to key destinations in the Far East and Europe.
The reconfiguration of the aircraft was carried out inhouse at the airline’s hub at Bandaranaike International Airport, where the SriLankan Airlines’ engineering team worked around the clock. The new operational configuration has been certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.
“We have transformed this aircraft to allow maximum cargo capacity with main deck loading in addition to the aircraft’s lower deck cargo hold to mainly support the needs of our export industries, as well as our imports sector, during the current global shortage of air cargo capacity and to strengthen the airline’s revenue stream during a time when the air transport industry is in crisis.” Ashok Pathirage, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines said.
The aircraft will fly a total of 170 cubic metres of cargo capacity with the enhanced 60 cubic metres of cargo on its upper deck with 110 cubic metres carried on the lower deck. The total payload of the aircraft will amount 45 metric tons.
“With the poor demand for passenger travel and the consequent reduction of air freight capacity in the global market has left a significant void for global supply chains. The past few months have seen SriLankan Airlines operating several routes specifically to cater to this demand for cargo capacity with our fleet of passenger aircraft. The converted operation comes at an ideal time for providing customers with enhanced volume capacity in maximizing the connectivity per flight.” Chamara Ranasinghe, Head of SriLankan Cargo said.
SriLankan Airlines currently operates other aircraft on special cargo flights to 20 destinations in Europe, Middle East, Australia, India, and the Far East regions whilst offering capacity for cargo charter operations to customers in need of the same.