Transforming the Airbus A380 into a cargo aircraft

Hi Fly, a leading wet lease specialist and charter airline operating worldwide, has created extra cargo capacity by temporarily removing economy seats of some of its aircraft, including the iconic Hi Fly A380 9H-MIP “Save the Coral Reefs”, to meet the high cargo demands during covid-19 crisis.

The engineering to transform the Airbus A380 into a cargo aircraft was developed by Lufthansa Technik and the actual modification work was carried on by MESA at its base in Beja, Portugal.

The A380, with its large extra wide cabin and three deck can offer the largest volume for cargo transportation amongst all the passenger aircraft used for cargo, approximately 320 m3 between the three decks. Also it has the highest payload, 60 tons and can fly direct for over 17 hours.

This combination of volume, payload and range makes the A380 an unique product in the market place for the transport of cargo, when availability of freighters is not enough to cover the market needs.

Mesa is an Airbus specialist EASA Maintenance Organization, with bases in Lisbon, Brussels, Beja and Melbourne. It is certified for all the Airbus product line, Airbus A320 family, A330, A340, A350 and A380. Mesa recently inaugurated a new state-of-the art widebody hangar in Beja that has greatly improved its technical capabilities.