Medical cargo and essential goods replace passengers in times of need during Covid-19 pandemic
ATR supports airlines in unlocking potential with quick turnaround passenger to cargo conversion
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the sourcing and delivering of essential supplies has been one of many logistical challenges. ATR has responded to the needs of its customers and collaborated with external suppliers AKKA and PMV ENGINEERING to come up with a light cargo conversion solution, enabling its customers to quickly convert their ATR passenger aircraft to carry freight.
Both passenger airlines wishing to carry medical supplies and cargo operators have turned to ATR aircraft, the economics and flexibility of which make it perfect for freight operations. Two solutions are now available to them. Transport medical cargo on passenger seats, restrained with straps or loaded inside ‘seat bags’, which can be installed in just a few minutes. The bags and straps are either attached to the seats or fixed to the seat tracks. The second, dubbed “floor-to-floor nets configuration”, consists in removing the aircraft seats and loading shipments directly on the floor, secured with nets attached to the seat tracks.
“Now more than ever, regional aviation plays a key role in transporting essential supplies from the world’s largest cities to remote areas. Airlines have turned to us, asking for a quick solution to allow them to convert passenger into cargo aircraft. We have developed this solution in record time, and are now able to support airlines in unlocking further potential to move even more medical cargo,” says Fabrice Vautier, Senior Vice President Commercial, ATR.
“In less than a month we put together a transversal team with colleagues from Engineering, Customer Support and Commercial to work with two hand-picked external suppliers to come up and certify this efficient and flexible solution.”
Depending on the selected configuration, four to five tonnes of payload can be put onboard quickly converted passenger ATR 72 aircraft. With this solution, ATR aircraft all over the world will continue to offer a helping hand to many communities relying on air links to have access to vital medical equipment, medicines, food and other essential supplies.