Airbus and Lufthansa Technik (LHT) have signed an agreement to co-develop a temporary system that will allow operators to load cargo into the cabins of their A330-200 and A330-300 widebodies. Under the agreement, Lufthansa Technik owns the needed supplemental type certificate (STC) and will provide the modification kits for customers, while Airbus provides technical data, engineering validations, and operational calculations.
The procedure consists of first removing the seats and then installing industry-standard “PKC” pallets and nets on the main deck, thereby increasing cargo capacity by up to 15 tonnes depending on aircraft configuration. Finnair will become the first airline to modify an Airbus A330-300 to carry commercial, non-dangerous goods in the main passenger deck. The airline recently modified an Airbus A330 at its home base in Helsinki and the approval process for the STC has started. Any Part 145 provider worldwide can carry out the mod. "With this EASA-approved STC solution we are able to continue our successful cargo operations even during ramp-up,” said Finnair technical operations president Juha Ojala. “The solution is technically simple and does not require massive investments like traditional cargo conversions.”
Airbus says the configuration takes advantage of the A330’s good operational economics and versatile cabin.
“In these times of reduced passenger traffic, our customers are looking for quick solutions to temporarily increase cargo transportation capacity in the cabin,” explained Airbus head of airframe services Daniel Wenninger.
The new modification offers a volumetric cargo capacity of around 78 cubic meters on the main deck of an A330-200 with 12 PKC pallet positions and 18 nets. Meanwhile, the A330-300’s main deck cargo capacity will total about 86 cubic meters with 15 PKC pallet positions and 19 nets.