Aviation transformations

With safety being absolutely paramount in aviation, modifications to aircraft are normally strictly controlled by the airworthiness authorities. However COVID-19 has seen a temporary easing of some rules as Ian Harbison reports

The loss of 'belly-hold' cargo on scheduled passenger flights has been a notable issue during the pandemic 
AIRTEAMIMAGES.COM/ TIM DE GROOT 

When the pandemic hit last year, there was immediate worldwide demand for medicines and personal protection equipment. Only air cargo could meet many of the urgent delivery requirements but there was an unseen knock-on effect. Few realised that almost half of all such freight was usually carried in the belly of scheduled passenger aircraft, which were being grounded in huge numbers. In response to this sudden drop in overall capacity, a number of companies – including Airbus, HAECO and Lufthansa Technik – rapidly developed bags that could be installed on the seats and in containers mounted on the seat rails. Another was Colibri Aero, based in Lithuania and Ireland, which teamed up with J&C Aero (also based in Lithuania) to produce both seat bags and containers.

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