Scoot Modifies A320ceo to Accommodate a Cargo Capacity of Nearly 20 Tons
Scoot announced on Monday that they have converted an Airbus A320ceo by removing the seats to accommodate nearly 20 tons of cargo. The carrier has been operating cargo flights with passenger aircraft since early 2020, in many cases placing cargo on passenger seats.
Today (August 24, 2020), Singapore-based Scoot announced the modification of one of their Airbus A320ceos (registration 9V-TAZ) by removing the seats to accommodate nearly 20 tons of cargo. Since early this year the carrier has supplemented the lack of belly-hold cargo space by using passenger aircraft for cargo flights, often placing cargo on passenger seats. The modified A320ceo will better serve smaller airports and by removing the passenger seats, the aircraft’s cargo capacity has been doubled. The modification of the aircraft took four days and included seat removal, installation of placards to demarcate cargo placement and an increase in the number of fire extinguishers. The modified airplane will be operated by two pilots and two cabin crew members who have been trained to identify hazards and handle inflight emergencies including situations involving smoke, fumes or fire. In Monday’s announcement, Scoot’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Campbell Wilson said,
“With many passenger aircraft sitting idle due to the pandemic, Scoot started operating cargo charters to carry essential supplies as an alternative revenue stream. Since then, we have been growing our cargo capacity and capabilities to remain competitive while providing more value for our customers. The modification works carried out on 9V-TAZ are our biggest undertaking to date, and we thank the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) for their support in this endeavor with their certification of the modification works.”
Also commenting on Monday’s announcement, the CAAS’ Director-General, Mr. Kevin Shum added,
“Scoot has responded nimbly to the market conditions during these challenging times to meet demand for airfreight. CAAS is happy to support their efforts in modifying their passenger aircraft to carry cargo in the cabin. The modified aircraft would enable Scoot to mount freight services between Singapore and key trading markets.”
Since the beginning of the crisis, Scoot has operated over 200 cargo charters to and from 10 cities including Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Kunming, Perth, Sydney, Taipei and Wuhan. The first cargo charter flight of the modified A320ceo took place on August 22, 2020, carrying 13 tons of cargo from Fuzhou to Singapore and the carrier plans on modifying another A320ceo this week. In March, Scoot became one of the first airlines in the region to start operating belly-hold cargo charters using their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft.