IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), will have access to a new ‘preighter’ A330 wide-body aircraft for its customers. The aircraft has been modified by IAG Cargo’s sister company Iberia, and comes ahead of the peak season for air cargo and as demand for cargo services grows.
The decision to convert the aircraft comes ahead of the holiday season – a busy period for the air cargo industry – and a time when IAG Cargo typically supports hundreds of customers to move thousands of additional tonnes of products around the world.
The A330 ‘preighter’ service – an Iberia wide-body passenger aircraft with all the seats removed – will be serviced by IAG Cargo, providing much needed extra capacity to deliver the logistics programmes for its customers across the world.
It took the team just a week to remove the seats on the plane and just a few weeks to fully convert the aircraft. The operation has seen all Economy, Premium Economy seats and crew rest removed along with separation panels. Carpeting was reinstalled with lights indicating the 33 cargo positions. Cargo will be held in place with netting fastened to floor rails where the seats were anchored. The aircraft now has the capacity to carry over 200 cubic metres of cargo.
Fernando Terol Armas, director of Spanish hub and operations at IAG Cargo commented: “It’s been exciting to work with Iberia to provide this service, which will enable our customers to keep operating at optimum speed and efficiency. We are seeing increasing demand from customers and shippers for a more tailored service, which is increasingly important as we approach peak season. For distant markets, air freight makes a global logistics programme possible.
“IAG Cargo has a wide network, and with the strength of five airlines, we can quickly adapt and diversify depending on our customers’ needs. This latest offering is another example of our bespoke solutions for customers across the world”.
This is the first ‘preighter’ operation with Iberia. However, this service is available across other IAG airlines and has been available upon request since March. The business is also pleased to offer its customers the opportunity to charter aircraft and access cargo only flights, and is currently providing services to over 350 destinations worldwide.