Caption: Emirates deploys massive double-deck passenger aircraft first time
Emirates has deployed the Airbus A380, a massive double-deck passenger aircraft, for the first time in a dedicated cargo operation Wednesday.
It plans to add more cargo-only flights in November.
The first A380 passenger freighter recently transported medical supplies from Seoul, South Korea, to Amsterdam via its home base in Dubai.
Emirates is repurposing the aircraft for cargo charter service to help make up for business lost when the coronavirus pandemic stunted passenger travel. The move comes as businesses scramble for airlift to move goods during the peak shipping season and the world experiences a second wave of COVID-19 that has increased the need again for critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, test kits and thermometers.
Emirates currently has 11 A380s in service and 103 parked, according to Planespotters.net.
Emirates said engineers were able to change the belly configuration of the plane to enable it to hold 50 tons of cargo, up from the normal 37.5 tons of available payload without passengers or luggage.
The cargo division is working to further optimize the A380’s cargo capacity through seat loading of cargo.