Lufthansa Technik's new technical and engineering services for temporary operational changes have garnered significant market interest and it is now working on the first A380-800 passenger-cargo conversion for an undisclosed customer. So far, the company's cabin modification team has received enquiries from more than 40 airlines and over 15 projects for different aircraft types are already in the implementation phase.

In its statement, the company said that securing the contract to complete an operational change of the first A380 was "a special highlight." In terms of trying to determine the customer, 15 airlines currently operate the double decker, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. These are: Air France; ANA - All Nippon Airways; Asiana Airlines; British Airways; China Southern Airlines; Emirates; Etihad Airways; Hi Fly Malta; Korean Air; Lufthansa; Malaysia Airlines; Qantas; Qatar Airways; Singapore Airlines; and Thai Airways International.

"Over the past days, we have received strong interest from different airlines regarding our passenger to freighter service capabilities," explained Henning Jochmann, Senior Director Aircraft Modification Base Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik. "As the work comprises much more than just taking out seats, you need engineering experts who know exactly what the challenges are and how to document the technical solutions so correctly that the aviation authorities agree. The current exemption and our solution for it can be transferred to our Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) at a later point of time without major adjustments. This means that anyone who opts for Lufthansa Technik's exceptional solution now can easily switch to the permanent STC solution later."

Normally, an aircraft that has been granted approval for passenger services cannot simply be loaded with cargo in the cabin, as the approval criteria for passenger cabins and cargo compartments are completely different. For example, the structural floor load capacity of a passenger aircraft is lower than that of a cargo aircraft.

Lufthansa Technik is currently working to obtain STCs for all common aircraft types so that airlines can quickly convert their passenger aircraft into auxiliary freighters.