(02 Aug 2021)
Korean Air launched its first cargo-only passenger
flight on the Incheon-Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) route in March 2020.
Since then, the airline has operated over 10,000
such flights on 65 routes to North America, Europe, Southeast
Asia, China and Japan, transporting 400,000 tons worldwide.
Approximately 40 tons of cargo are transported per round
trip (20 tons each way).
After most passenger flights were suspended due to the
COVID19 outbreak, Korean Air began operating cargo-only passenger
aircraft with 38 such flights in March of last year. The airline
currently operates more than 800 cargo-only flights a month.
Through close cooperation with the Ministry of
Land, Infrastructure and Transport and aircraft manufacturers,
Korean Air has increased its cargo capacity by utilizing overhead
bin space, cargo seat bags – a safety device that can load
cargo on passenger seats, and by removing seats to enable cargo floor
While the airline’s cargo volume
transported using passenger aircraft sharply dropped to 16,000
tons per month right after the start of the COVID19 outbreak, from 2021, this
number has recovered to more than 40,000 tons per month, close to
Korean Air is also actively responding to
emergency pandemic related demands, and the cargo-only flights are
also used to transport pandemic relief goods such as COVID19
diagnostic kits, protective clothing and masks.
More than 100
cargo-only aircraft have been deployed to India, where COVID19 cases
were soaring, to transport pandemic relief supplies, and a charter
flight was operated to deliver COVID19 diagnostic kits to
Baltimore-Washington International Airport, U.S, in April 2020.
In the process of transporting pandemic relief
products, Korean Air recorded its longest-distance flight – cargo
flight KE8047 – which flew 13,405 km for a duration of 14 hours and
42 minutes from Incheon Airport to Miami Airport (U.S.) on 12 June 2021.
Korean Air is currently transporting pandemic
related supplies to Indonesia, Singapore, Germany and Canada, and continues to increase capacity even
flying new routes, as and when required.
“We expect cargo-only passenger flights to play a
more vital role in the second half of the year, when the volume of
import and export cargo typically increases,” said a Korean Air
representative. “As a Korean flag carrier, Korean Air will
continue its efforts to create a stable logistics environment for
imports and exports by actively securing cargo capacity.”
Travel Industry News,