Cargo is being loaded onto an Asiana Airlines plane. (Asiana Airlines)
Asiana Airlines said on Monday it has converted two of its Airbus A350-900 passenger aircrafts to cargo planes as it seeks to expand its freight business.
The move will give the airline an additional 23 tons of space to carry cargo per plane, bringing its air cargo fleet to a total of four. Two other passenger planes were converted last year.
In a statement, the airline boasted last year’s record breaking sales from its cargo business reached 2.14 trillion won ($1.9 billion), up 64 percent from the previous year.
“Our ‘innovation strategy’ to convert passenger planes to cargo planes has significantly strengthened our capacity,” one official at the airline said.
“As demand for air cargo is expected to rise in the age of COVID-19, we plan to focus on cargo flights in many aspects to turn around our performance.”
As the first vaccine rollout is set to begin later this month, the airline also said it is taking every step possible to prepare for the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines and medications going forward.
On top of the two previously converted cargo planes last year, other passenger planes that were used to carry cargo generated sales of 88.5 billion won from the cargo business, adding an additional 849 flights.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org