December 2 2020  |  Cabin Maintenance

AIRE and Cebu Pacific Air convert A330s for cargo

By Sabrina Pirillo

The conversion of two A330s from passenger to cargo configuration by AIRE and Cebu Pacific Air was done with recommendations from EASA and Airbus in mind

AIRE (Aircraft Interior Refurbishment España), a provider of cabin interiors engineering, production and maintenance services, announced today its first collaboration with Philippines carrier Cebu Pacific Air to convert two of its eight A330s from passenger to cargo configuration. The partnership comes as a result of the demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the press release from AIRE, it won the project having successfully delivered for several airlines that opted for this cargo configuration of passenger aircraft, both on seats and full cargo configuration, in light of the situation.

The two parties have closely monitored recommendations released by EASA and Airbus specific to the regulation of cargo operations amidst the pandemic to ensure guidelines are strictly followed and potential hazards are avoided.

AIRE has been handling the manufacturing and procurement of the materials required to undertake the conversion. From nets and additional EFPMS procurement, AIRE manufactured two kits of placards (to indicate additional emergency equipment position, cargo areas, and relevant limitations) as well as two carpet kits for new layout.

The company's Part 21J worked alongside the airline's engineering team to meet the seven-day lead time. Within the timeframe, post-mod configurations were fixed and the compliance demonstration documents packaged was released, including the ICA documentation to process the exemption application.

“This project is a step toward solidifying the position of AIRE as an established Part 21J company in the cabin interiors market," said Juan Arevalo, Engineering Director, AIRE. “The project was challenging since the beginning, but thanks to our tireless team and the experience accumulated on cargo operations over the previous months, we completed the project in compliance with structural integrity, Fire protection, and emergency evacuation requirements following EASA, IATA, and TCH recommendations, all in one week. We thank CEB for the trust and confidence, and we hope that this successful project will mark the beginning of a long-term and win-win collaboration."

"We saw this pandemic as an opportunity to revisit our operations to further improve wherever possible,” said Alex Reyes, Vice President for Commercial at Cebu Pacific. “Now more than ever, transport of goods must not be hampered, and the A330 reconfiguration will help us address the growing demand with a cabin fully dedicated for cargo. These converted aircraft will effectively enable us to carry more goods while doing so in a more efficient manner compared to regular A330s that rely on belly space,” he said.

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