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Mon, 2 August 2021

Korean Air Operating Over 800 Cargo-Only Passenger Flights Per Month

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.

Removing the seats out of a Korean Air Boeing 777-300ER so that the aircraft can be used for cargo-only flights. Click to enlarge.

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 loading.

While the airlines 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 pre-pandemic levels.

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.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Korean Air, Cargo.

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