For the first time in its history, the Cargo division of South African Airways, SAA Cargo, operated a passenger aircraft for a pure cargo uplift.
On 06 April 2020 and in response to the increased demand for cargo flights to distribute critical and essential goods during the lockdown, SAA Cargo operated an Airbus A340-600 as a cargo only flight, transporting essential goods between Johannesburg and Frankfurt.
The outbound cargo included perishables such as fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, laboratory supplies as well as automotive and aircraft parts for repairs. On the inbound leg from Europe the aircraft landed last night in Johannesburg and the cargo included testing kits for COVID-19, immunological pharmaceuticals, insulin, surgical personal protective equipment (PPE), and processing equipment for food such as baby milk powder.
“SAA has demonstrated agility and we are working with our partners to provide them and our country with solutions that are relevant in these difficult times. The decision to deploy an A346, is based on both its capacity and range and so bolsters our freighter services during this time when there is high demand for cargo shipments,” said SAA Cargo’s acting General Manager, Justice Luthuli.
The next pure cargo flight is scheduled to depart from Johannesburg to Guangzhou on Friday, 10 April 2020. It will operate on the same aircraft type for collection and delivery of medical supplies.