South Korea's second biggest airline Asiana announced it has completed the conversion of two more passenger jets to carry cargo.
Reported by the Yonhap News Agency and The Korea Herald, the Seoul-based airline converted 2 of its Airbus A350-900 jets to meet cargo transport demands in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
"The company is putting a bigger focus on winning more air cargo deals to survive the COVID-19 pandemic," Asiana was quoted saying on a report from the Yonhap News Agency.
It will provide an extra boost to its cargo business which saw a record year in sales in 2020. Asiana reported its cargo sales reached KRW 2.14 trillion (~USD $1.9 billion) last year – a 64% increase compared to the year prior.
Along with the 2 A350s, Asiana converted 2 Boeing 777-200ER jets for cargo operations last year as airlines have turned to cargo operations to offset the sharp air travel demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asiana was the first airline to work with Airbus to convert A350 jets for cargo operations. As part of of an Airbus Service Bulletin (SB 25-P170), the first modified A350 was put into service in September of 202.
According to an Airbus release in September, the process to convert the jets includes the replacement of 283 economy seats with cargo pallets that adds an extra cargo capacity of 5 tonnes. The total capacity of the jets is 23 tonnes.