Kenya Airways ups cargo capacity with Dreamliners’ seat removal

By Rachelle Harry

Kenya Airways is increasing its cargo capacity by removing the seats from two of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The carrier recently received confirmation from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make the conversions.

The carrier said that the modification works on the aircraft are being carried out in partnership with Avianor Inc.

The aircraft will be used to transport cargo from Kenya to longhaul destinations in its network.

Peter Musola, cargo commercial manager at Kenya Airways, told Air Cargo News: “Two aircraft are having the seats removed to scale up capacity to up to 50 tonnes. All in all, this operation has enabled us to scale up our dreamliner cargo capacity from 15 tonnes [in the bellyhold] to 50 tonnes with the seats removed.”

He added: “In the run up to the Valentine’s Day period, these preighters will be critical for our customers because 50 tonnes is around half of a Boeing 747 capacity-wise.”

Allan Kilavuka, group managing director and chief executive of Kenya Airways, commented: “We are excited to be part of the first ever certified cargo conversion of this type on the Boeing 787 aircraft. It demonstrates our agility, innovation and quick thinking as well as increases our cargo capability and capacity to keep essential goods moving across the globe.”

Matthieu Duhaime, president and chief executive of Avianor, added: “Avianor’s team has been pioneering the main deck temporary cargo repurposing process in response to the need for rapid increase in air freight cargo capacity at the onset of the pandemic.

“We are very excited to now be working with Kenya Airways to adapt this solution for their 787 aircraft. This represents a unique design and certification challenge, and we are thrilled to demonstrate, once again, our ability to find unprecedented solutions to customer needs.”

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