KLM has operated its first flight carrying cargo on passenger seats and baggage bins in addition to using bellyhold capacity.
The Boeing 777-300 passenger aircraft flew from Shanghai, China, to Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Thursday, April 30, carrying medical supplies including face masks and protective gowns to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Around 500 packages can be carried in the cabin of each flight and KLM plans to add Beijing and Hong Kong to the cargo-in-cabin service.
KLM will deploy three Boeing 777s for cargo-in-cabin and its Boeing 747-400 combis are returning to service to meet demand.
Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president of Air France KLM Cargo, said it is a complex task as every package must be bound securely to the seat and the interior of the aircraft must not be damaged.
“Cargo-in-Cabin significantly increases capacity. What we can now accommodate in the cabin equates to around six large pallets in the belly or 40% of the total cargo capacity,” Den Heijer added.
“We can use the added space to our advantage, carrying more urgent medical supplies. Cargo-in-Cabin caters perfectly to the growing demand for such equipment.”