The Addis Ababa-based carrier made the crucial decision to temporarily convert part of its fleet to carry cargo rather than passengers. Since then, the company has boosted its capacity on cargo operations.
Its “preighters”, passenger aircraft carrying cargo in the cabin, transported tonnes of masks and medical products, as well as industrial products and goods such as mobile phones, IT equipment, and clothing.
In a recent communication, the company indicated it had: “operated 5,645 cargo flights on the cabin of passenger aircraft and transported more than 121,750 tonnes of cargo across its vast global network.
“The flights added an immense value to the total of 33,182 flights and 735,869 tonnes of cargo transported during the period from March 25, 2020 to March 25,2021”.
Not surprisingly, Ethiopian used its entire A350-900 fleet for cargo operations. Seven out of its 16 extra-wide body aircraft have been converted to freighters by removing all economy seats.
The other nine are used either for passengers or for cargo loaded on the economy seats. As a result, all Ethiopian A350-900 have kept flying during the period.
“Let me express my admiration for Ethiopian Airlines’ remarkable achievement during this unprecedented pandemic. Let me also voice my pride to see the A350 playing a critical role in this success.” says Mikail Houari, president Airbus Africa Middle East.