Korean Air has converted two Boeing 777-300ER airliners into cargo aircraft after cargo revenue for the airline climbed up by 95% to $1 billion.
The largest carrier in South Korea makes changes in its development strategy by converting two wide-body passenger jets into freighters to boost a profit of cargo operations. The first of two converted Boeing 777-300ER freighters made its first flight to Rickenbacker International Airport Ohio, the United States, on September 8, 2020.
According to the airline’s statement, the conversion process of 777-300ER included removing passenger seats and the complex in-flight electrical wiring as well as installation of specific safety latches to prevent cargo from sliding around.
Originally, as a passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300ER could load up to 22 tons of cargo. However, after removing 269 seats from the passenger cabin, now both of the Korean Air freighters would carry an additional 10.8 tons of cargo.
Earlier in June 2020, Korean Air installed cargo seat bags on top of passenger seats to transport goods and increase cargo supply. This helped the carrier to reduce airport parking fees for grounded passenger aircraft.
According to the carrier’s quarterly financial results of 2020, Korean Air recorded an operational profit of $124.8 million during the second quarter of this year as cargo revenue for the airline climbed up by 95% to $1 billion while most other airlines worldwide suffered losses.
Korean Air is considering a plan of converting more passenger jets into freighters if the demand for cargo operations will continue to grow.