Lufthansa Technik says their new technical and engineering services for temporary operational changes from passenger to cargo aircraft have met with great interest. So far, the company’s cabin modification team has received enquiries from more than 40 airlines. More than 15 projects for different aircraft types are already in the implementation phase. A special highlight is the support of the operational change of a first Airbus A380 of an undisclosed customer with which Lufthansa Technik has now been awarded.
“Over the past days, we have received strong interest from different airlines regarding our passenger to freighter service capabilities,” says Henning Jochmann, senior director Aircraft Modification Base Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik. “As the workscope comprises much more than just taking out seats, you need engineering experts who know exactly what the challenges are and how to document the technical solutions so correctly that the aviation authorities agree. The current exemption and our solution for it can be transferred to our Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) at a later point of time without major adjustments. This means that anyone who opts for LHT’s exceptional solution now can easily switch to the permanent STC solution later.”
Normally, an aircraft that has been granted an approval for passenger transport cannot simply be loaded with cargo in the cabin, as the approval criteria for passenger cabins and cargo compartments are completely different, Lufthansa Technik says. For example, cargo has a different floor load, i.e. the structural load capacity of a passenger aircraft is lower than that of a cargo aircraft. While for passenger transport rescue routes must be kept clear and the oxygen supply must be ensured for each individual, special fire protection measures must be taken on board a freighter. All these criteria must be taken into account and incorporated into the technical documentation by suitably qualified engineers and approved.
Lufthansa Technik says they are currently working flat out to obtain STCs for all common aircraft types so that airlines all over the world can quickly convert their passenger aircraft into auxiliary freighters.