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Worldwide air bridge COVID19 supply lines

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Worldwide air bridge COVID19 supply lines

Old 20th Mar 2020, 01:21
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Worldwide air bridge COVID19 supply lines

Negotiations are ongoing at the highest levels of governments around the world including China, to create a huge and comprehensive air bridge system to supply mainly the USA, Europe, Scandinavia and Australia with goods. The 'shelter in place' quarantine approach and airlines grounding the majority of their fleets removes a huge amount of cargo space while demand is high. China is rapidly increasing manufacturing to before Covid-19 levels and even higher for priority products. There is an immediate need for full freighters, long haul and domestic, this need is modeled to exist for at least half a year. Demand is expected to be so high that regulation regarding transporting Dangerous Goods through the air needs to be (temporarily) adapted in order to fly certain DG's on pax airplanes without the pax. Several airlines are looking into getting mothballed freighters back into the air as governments will financially support this. This idea is preferred over using military aircraft. Source is a high level USA State Department staffer.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 02:18
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What media sources have vetted this rumour?
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 02:49
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo View Post
What media sources have vetted this rumour?
https://www.stattimes.com/news/lufth...mic-air-cargo/

Perhaps where the rumour started.

Lufthansa to prepare ‘air bridge’ for supplies to Germany during COVID-19 pandemic

STAT Times Air Cargo March 18th, 2020

Mar 18, 2020: German airline, Lufthansa, is working with the government to prepare an ‘air bridge’ to ensure that necessary goods would continue to arrive in Germany during the coronavirus epidemic, according to a Reuters report.

Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr told Bild newspaper that the airline was preparing to deploy its 747 and Lufthansa Cargo fleet and was working on revised crew schedules to ensure adequate staffing.

“Lufthansa will do everything in its power to ensure the supply chains supplying the population of Germany can be maintained by air,” he said. “We are working very hard on an air bridge for the whole of Germany.”

The original air bridge was built during the 1948-1949 operation by the Western allies to provide supplies to the West German exclave of West Berlin after Soviet forces blockaded the city.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 08:47
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The original air bridge was built during the 1948-1949 operation by the Western allies to provide supplies to the West German exclave of West Berlin after Soviet forces blockaded the city.
Close, but no cigar. The original air bridge was trans-Atlantic, supplying vital aircraft to the UK and, subsequently to North Africa. Early forties.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 09:11
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Ernie Gann says thanks for correcting that.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 12:01
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Sounds like it could be quite a big operation, bigger than the Berlin Airlift that only supplied a single city. This should be good news for the freight operators but will they have the capacity to deal with the demand? Would it help the passenger airlines that are struggling, if they were brought in on this and the work was shared around? Can the short haul airlines be brought in on this by flying long haul to strategic hubs and the short haul operators taking it from there?

If the world economies are going to recover, we need to keep as many companies afloat as possible in all sectors not just aviation.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 13:26
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Since we are in the rumors forum , heard one this morning that says that LH will remove seats from some of their pax 747s to transport goods on the main deck
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 13:41
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Not sure it’s quite that simple. Freight for an ac that big will be in pallets/bins which need a cargo door, roller floor and locking mechanisms. I guess you could loose load it but it would take forever to do that manually with pax doors and Tetris skills.

Freight is the one sector of aviation which has continued through all of this. Not easy, but it’s happening.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 14:31
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Ridiculous to compare this to the Berlin Airlift. At the time all road, rail and water connections were blocked into a war torn city.
Air was the only possibility to supply such things as even a cabbage. Lufthansa is not going to fly in cabbages to Germany now.

Also I do not believe for a second that Lufthansa is doing this dor the greater good of mankind. They are in this for the money. And understandably, it is the one and only thing that an airline can make a little bit money on.

And regarding the possibility of passengercabin cargo, I believe that will turn out to be one of the WhatsApp group hoaxes running around.
I am told that expected cargo is high priority but low volume. Like medical supplies.
Will fit perfectly into belly’s of their most efficient aircraft the A350.

Any LH pilot to comment?
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 14:46
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Originally Posted by golfyankeesierra View Post
Ridiculous to compare this to the Berlin Airlift. At the time all road, rail and water connections were blocked into a war torn city.
Air was the only possibility to supply such things as even a cabbage. Lufthansa is not going to fly in cabbages to Germany now.

Also I do not believe for a second that Lufthansa is doing this dor the greater good of mankind. They are in this for the money. And understandably, it is the one and only thing that an airline can make a little bit money on.

And regarding the possibility of passengercabin cargo, I believe that will turn out to be one of the WhatsApp group hoaxes running around.
I am told that expected cargo is high priority but low volume. Like medical supplies.
Will fit perfectly into belly’s of their most efficient aircraft the A350.

Any LH pilot to comment?
Retired from LH 10 years ago.

I will not comment on the technical details, we have no longer 747's with side cargo door.
But I will beliive it will be feasible if necessary.
Vorsprung durch Technik comes to my mind ... :-)

As for your comment re. you believe LH is in it for the money : Having done evac flights like THR after the Shah's fall and JKT after riots myself as crew, LH will do it to serve the German gvt and its citizens as well and as much as possible in a crisis.

LH and the German gvt have good relations and depend on each other. Today more than ever.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 15:14
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Hi FC2, I absolutely agree on necessity of the rescue flights, all airlines are trying to get home as many passengers they can.
As a matter of fact I just returned from an intercontinental layover with the whole crew being aware of the possibility of getting quarantained when showing signs of corona. Some countries are doing temping or even corona tests for inbound crew.

But flying maindeck cargo on pax planes sounds more like a commercial decision to me.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 15:33
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Air Cargo Companies are slowly grinding to a halt due to Corona checks for crew members. The latest is crews are unable to get off at their turnround to complete their walk round. God forbid if an aircraft goes AOG
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 17:42
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Originally Posted by golfyankeesierra View Post
Hi FC2, I absolutely agree on necessity of the rescue flights, all airlines are trying to get home as many passengers they can.
As a matter of fact I just returned from an intercontinental layover with the whole crew being aware of the possibility of getting quarantained when showing signs of corona. Some countries are doing temping or even corona tests for inbound crew.

But flying maindeck cargo on pax planes sounds more like a commercial decision to me.
Thank you GYS - and I sure do not envy you in the current situation !

To be honest - commercial or otherwise I couldn't care less as long as it maintains vital supplies available.

Happy Landings !
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 18:10
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Is there a market??

KLM is prioritizing and moving forward phasing out their B747s.
As KLM is flying with 747 combis, ie half freighter half pax, and they are still stopping the flights with those aircraft, is there really a market for extra cargo?
i know KLM is not so fast moving, but I expected them to jump into such an opportunity if it exists
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 19:16
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The rescue flight with medical staff and equipment that came from China to Italy did look (on tv) like it had many smallish cardboard boxes (probably protective equipment like masks/gloves/gowns) manually stacked in most of the passenger area.
Do not underestimate the chinese and their ability to raise the manpower to manually load a plane with cargo by carrying it onboard. Time will tell if we europeans can organize somebody to unload it. Or do we have to fly the chinese in to do that as well.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 19:42
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Most modern aircraft can have some/all seats removed and it’s not rocket science to use the attachment points for securing freight - after all, they secure seats + passengers. Big stuff in the holds, smaller stuff in the cabin that fits through the doors. A 777-300ER could take 60-70T of cargo China -> Europe, maybe more...
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 20:19
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American is doing cargo flights with pax planes:

American Airlines Announces Cargo-Only Flights to Help Keep Business Moving

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 5:00 PM


FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is utilizing its currently grounded passenger aircraft to move cargo between the United States and Europe, ensuring the world’s goods continue to get where they need to go. The first cargo-only flight departs from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) tomorrow, March 20, landing at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) March 21. The Boeing 777-300 will operate two round trips between DFW and FRA over the course of four days, carrying only cargo and necessary flight personnel. This is the first scheduled cargo-only flight since 1984 when American retired the last of its Boeing 747 freighters.

The 777-300 has 14 cargo positions for large pallets and can carry more than 100,000 pounds. The four scheduled flights this weekend are expected to be booked to capacity and transport medical supplies, mail for active U.S. military, telecommunications equipment and electronics that will support people working from home, and e-commerce packages. The flights provide much-needed cargo capacity for many of the airline’s regular cargo customers, allowing them to continue operating in this challenging environment.

Air cargo has always played a key role in times of crisis, delivering lifesaving medical supplies and materials to keep the world’s infrastructure intact. In the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, this role has never been more important as the world relies more on e-commerce to support basic needs during quarantines and social distancing. The airlines’ role is deemed a critical infrastructure industry by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We have a critical role to play in keeping essential goods moving during this unprecedented time, and we are proud to do our part and find ways to continue to serve our customers and our communities,” said Rick Elieson, President of Cargo and Vice President of International Operations. “Challenging times call for creative solutions, and a team of people across the airline has been working nonstop to arrange cargo-only flight options for our customers.”

Cargo-only flights, while not carrying customers, continue to require a group effort from American’s team members across every function. From the first call to a customer to the last cargo offloaded from the plane, team members and vendor partners contribute to these efforts.

“It’s an honor to be part of these cargo-only flights,” said Ken Jarrell, Fleet Service Clerk, Cargo Services – DFW. “They represent much needed aid for the world and hope for our team. Our team members across the airline are ready and willing to do what it takes to make sure people have the things they need during these unprecedented times.”

Domestically, American continues to carry cargo on all of its planes. The smaller narrowbody aircraft are especially vital in supporting the world’s economy, delivering medicine and e-commerce goods. This week the airline also transported its first shipment of COVID-19 test kits from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Chicago O’Hare Airport. American continues to work to provide solutions for our customers and world governments to protect the public health and keep the global economy moving during this time of need.
Newsroom - American Airlines Announces Cargo-Only Flights to Help Keep Business Moving - American Airlines Group, Inc.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 20:22
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https://www.easa.europa.eu/sites/def...ublication.pdf
Proposed Special Condition on Installation of Cargo Seat Bags for the purpose of transporting passenger luggage
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 21:22
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I read an article once about Lufthansa having quick change planes that converted the passenger deck to Cargo with the seats being removed overnight with the planes flying cargo all night and the seats put back in for the first morning pax flight. The planes had a cargo door on the pax deck,strengthened floors and palletised seats and used cargo bins like the cargo deck.
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Old 20th Mar 2020, 21:39
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The first American Airlines B-773 cargo flight AA9440 DFW-FRA is airborne:

https://www.flightradar24.com/AAL9440/243d476b
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