All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced it is the first Japanese airline to carry vital medical supplies (i.e. masks, hazmat suits and test kits) as cargo, on its passenger seats and overhead compartments.
This move by ANA increases cargo capacity, allowing the airline to transport approximately 1.4 times more cargo than when only using the conventional cargo compartments.
Due to the expansion of entry restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), passenger flights have been largely suspended or reduced worldwide, resulting in limited space for air cargo. To meet the increased demand for transportation of vital medical supplies, ANA began transporting masks and other items using the baggage storage space above the seats on the Shanghai to Haneda flights starting April 10th. Moving forward, ANA has also begun the usage of its passenger seats as cargo space on this route since 22 April and is considering expanding this on other existing routes as well. Other efforts include the operation of charter flights with the freighters. ANA had 86 flights in March and are expecting 297 flights in April.
“ANA is honoured to help relief efforts in Japan and help deliver these vital medical supplies,” said Toshiaki Toyama, president of ANA CARGO INC. and executive vice president of ANA. “We are excited to use ANA Group’s resources in a creative way to deliver goods to people in need.”
As the world faces these unprecedented times, ANA will continue to take on new challenges to secure space for air cargo and emergency transportation needs to help address the demand for these medical supplies.