European regulator extends temporary-freighter exception into 2022

By Damian Brett

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The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has extended rules allowing airlines use passenger aircraft as temporary freighters into next year.

The extension means that airlines will be able to carry certain cargo in passenger holds until July 31.

Airlines have been removing passenger seats from aircraft since the start of the outbreak in response to lost cargo capacity and to keep aircraft employed.

In order to use passenger aircraft as temporary freighters airlines are required to meet operational requirements around fire protection. There are also limits on the number of aircraft that can be converted and the number of flight hours for each aircraft.

The regulator said the number of aircraft that had been converted was “significantly lower” than initially expected.

In July, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also extended the exemption allowing airlines to carry cargo in the cabin of aircraft until the end of the year.

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