Korean Air (KE, Seoul Incheon) has engaged the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) over permission to convert some of its B777-300(ER)s into makeshift freighters, the airline told the Yonhap News Agency.

"We are aiming to start operations of the converted planes next month upon approval from Boeing and the transport ministry," a company spokesperson said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the airline operates twenty-six B777-300(ER)s, of which 20 are owned. Notwithstanding their existing bellyhold cargo capacity, Korean Air expects the planned makeshift conversion to add at least 10 tonnes of added freight volume per aircraft.

Korean Air operates a sizeable fleet of dedicated freighters including four B747-400(ERF)s, seven B747-8(F)s, and twelve B777-200Fs. While it has used its passenger aircraft to boost its cargo throughput during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has so far refrained from modifying any of them by removing passenger seats.

Rival Asiana Airlines (OZ, Seoul Incheon) has also not converted any of its passenger aircraft into dedicated makeshift freighters.