MASKargo A380 in cargo-only flight ‘first’

By Damian Brett

MASKargo has operated an A380 aircraft on a cargo-only flight – moving e-commerce goods from Kuala Lumpur International (KLIA) to Heathrow.

The airline said that — as far as it is aware — this is the first time an A380 has been used on a cargo-only basis.

MASKargo said that flight MH04 departed KLIA at 9.50am on Tuesday with 26 tonnes of cargo made up of mostly e-commerce goods originating from Guangzhou.

“This is definitely an innovative and ‘beyond-the-box approach’ on our part; as no other Airbus A380 equipped airline that we know, has done this,” said lbrahim Mohamed Salleh, MASkargo’s chief executive.

“Our freighters’ flying hours have been utilised to the maximum allowable due to humanitarian Covid-19 relief efforts and other business demands.

“When the freighters can no longer cope, we initially innovated via the passenger-to-cargo (P2C) project where we use our A330 passenger fleet to carry cargo.

“With the volume of cargo increasing coupled with lesser cargo capacity into Heathrow, we had no choice but to utilise the biggest aircraft in the Malaysia Airlines fleet to meet our customers’ expectations. The originally scheduled A350, could not cater for the volume of cargo that we need to move.”

MASKargo said that on the return leg the aircraft was also fully laden with cargo, primarily pharmaceutical products and mail.

Ooi Cheng Heong, MASkargo’s regional senior manager, said: “I am ecstatic that the A380 P2C rotation is a success. lt took a lot of coordination between ourselves in Kuala Lumpur, our Guangzhou office led by Oscar Chien and our London office, headed by Anita Sehgal.

“Everyone had a major role in filling up the aircraft from each end especially on the return flight with a substantial load in short notice. Our customers are happy that we have managed to pull this off.”

lbrahim added: “This would not have been possible without the teamwork and unwavering cross support for each other within the Malaysian Aviation Group. We have more flights in the pipeline and we could not have managed them on our own.

“We will keep our aircraft flying to make sure the medical and business needs of the world especially Malaysia, are fulfilled. I believe that our perseverance and innovations during this dark period will bear great results which we can all celebrate together soon. In the meantime, please stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.”

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