South Korea’s Jin Air is scheduled to remodel one Boeing 777-200ER passenger aircraft for cargo-only operations.
The modifications are due to take place in October and will increase the aircraft’s cargo capacity by 10t to 25t.
The carrier will use the aircraft for passenger operations until the local Chuseok holiday, which falls on 1 October.
Thereafter, cabin seats will be removed and safety equipment installed, subject to approval from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
“The conversion of the B777-200ER [for cargo operations] is one of the strategies to secure a source of revenue to overcome the crisis amid the challenging business environment,” the budget airline said in a 9 September statement.
“In particular, Jin Air plans to defend its earnings by boosting the cargo business [in response to] stagnant passenger demand [given that it is the only South Korean low-cost carrier with widebodies].”
Cirium fleets data show that Jin Air’s in-service and stored fleet comprises 23 737-800 and four 777-200ER jets. Compatriots Jeju Air, T’way Air and Eastar Jet primarily operate 737-800s, while Asiana Airlines subsidiaries Air Busan and Air Seoul operate uniform Airbus A320ceo/neo fleets.
Jin Air says it has been utilising the bellyhold capacity of the 777-200ER aircraft deployed on the Tapei route. According to the airline, the 777-200ER has an edge over 737-800 aircraft as it allows for temperature and humidity control in the cargo hold.
“In the current situation where passenger demand is limited, we will actively discover revenue sources by operating cargo planes at the right time and at the right time and respond flexibly to market conditions in the future.”
Jin Air is affiliated with flag carrier Korean Air, which on 8 September operated its first cargo-only flight with a passenger 777-300ER aircraft that was remodelled to maximise cargo capacity. The 777-300ER flew from Seoul Incheon to Columbus, Ohio in the USA, which Korean Air states is an emerging cargo base for American clothing and logistics companies.