The cargo division of South African Airways (SAA) on April 6, for the first time, operated a passenger aircraft to transport cargo.
This was in response to the increased demand for cargo flights to distribute critical and essential goods during the national lockdown.
SAA Cargo operated an Airbus A340-600 as a cargo-only flight between Johannesburg and Frankfurt, Germany.
The flight carried perishables including fish, fruits, vegetables and laboratory supplies, as well as automotive and aircraft parts for repairs.
On the inbound leg from Europe, the aircraft landed back in Johannesburg on April 7 in the evening. The flight back carried goods including Covid-19 testing kits, immunological pharmaceuticals, insulin, surgical personal protective equipment and processing equipment for food.
“The cargo flight demonstrates SAA’s agility and we are working with our partners to provide them, and our country, with solutions that are relevant in these difficult times,” says SAA Cargo acting GM Justice Luthuli.
SAA Cargo will undertake another cargo-only flight from Johannesburg to Guangzhou, China, on April 10, for the collection and delivery of medical supplies.