KLM has announced its first passenger carrier carried cargo in the passenger seats and baggage bins of the aircraft cabin on a flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam, the company said.
The KLM B777-300´s load consisted mainly of urgent medical supplies, including hundreds of thousands of face masks and protective gowns to be used in combatting coronavirus. The new cargo carrying concept makes additional space available to ship personal protective equipment (PPE).
Around 500 packages of equipment can be carried in the cabin on each flight. If the trial proves successful, Beijing and Hong Kong will join Shanghai on the list of destinations for this new service. KLM will be deploying three Boeing 777s to operate Cargo-in-Cabin flights. The B747-400 combines flights currently re-entering service on these routes will soon be reconfigured to be similarly deployed. The packages will be bound to the passenger seats and stowed in the baggage bins.
KLM´s new, but temporary cargo carrying concept was developed by a multidisciplinary team within a three-week timeframe. The Cargo-in-Cabin significantly increases capacity to the equivalent of approximately 40% of the total cargo capacity.