Home » Commercial » Airbus » A350 » Could Airbus Offer A Cargo Version Of The A380 After All?

Airbus is offering conversion kits to airlines to convert Airbus A330 and Airbus A350 passenger aircraft into freight carriers. The airframe builder has not ruled out offering kits to convert A380s as well.

Link to article: https://simpleflying.com/airbus-cargo-a380-2020/

Video source links:
British Airways business class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ9XUNnvkvg
A380 Air France https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfKmmi8x4CQ
A330 Aer Lingus Cargo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcNnu6Y_q6g
A340 A380 Hi Fly Supplies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W9Rs7OGN-o
A330 aerolineas argentina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bDnug0Fchw
A350 Iberia In the making https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzr01oIIzbc
A350-900 Aeroflot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCyHV3UflTk
A350 Lufthansa cargo loading https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz831KW3Dns
747-8 Cargo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h2AErWuyac

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  • When will their by a cargo / passenger plane ?
    With and current situation with struggling airlines I feel it should be a consideration.

  • Loading by hand is a labor intensive undertaking, but will work as a short term solution imho. Along the same lines would the A380 be a cost effective cargo solution for the long term when there are several other available grounded aircraft? Just wondering how many grounded/mothballed cargo planes are available that could quickly be made airworthy?

  • This is a bad idea! By the time the conversion was implemented it would be too late. 747’s are much more efficient!

  • Unfortunately I can not see the 380 as a cargo carrier it would be too severely restricted to weight and un-profitable for airlines, I have seen A340's successfully converted and running frequent trips to the far east for PPE supplies based currently at Bournemouth BOH EGHH their are 4 ex Virgin Atlantic A340's one operating now as 9H-EAL and a second being transformed to 9H-NHS both A346's now to be operated by Maleth-Aero based in Malta.

  • Opium dreams. Airbus never had the vision (like Boeing) to convert the A380 into a freighter because the cockpit is located in a very unfavorable position to have a nose cargo door. Perhaps it could become a mediocre cargo after the conversion by a German company.

  • I think it would be great to repurpose the A380’s given their relatively short lives in the passenger market in comparison to other aircraft. To me, if there’s a demand and it can be done, why not?! Maybe other carriers would jump to purchase the recently retired A380’s that didn’t already have them on their fleets? 🤷🏽‍♂️

  • Something like a cargo door and engine swap (i.e Trent XWB-97 in place of Trent 900; 57 kN thrust increase, more payload) should make the A380 P2F-capable.

    EDIT: As a permanent freighter however, unless if someone managed to fly it as a Combi

  • It will only ever be a short-term solution. Dedicated cargo carriers are far better, for loading, for interior (dividers, fire equipment, monitors, etc), and for weight/size, and that's before the door situation, the undercarriage, etc. However, if you have an A380 which cost you, say $300m, now has a re-sale value of 1/10 of that, and you can't fill it, then maybe it makes sense as an inefficient cargo aircraft.

  • I wonder if you could convert the middle level to cargo and keep the top level passengers. Passenger loads are lighter, so it might work.

  • I did see a post that this past week lufthansa had pulled one of their A380's into a hanger to remove all the seats for cargo on all decks

  • It's Only a matter of demand for cargo. A380 can be a cargo version with wider doors. It's a loose of resources send a plane so big to the scrap yard…

  • Apparently, Lufthansa Technik is currently working on converting a passenger A380 into a freighter for an airline. Since the is no second hand market for A380 passenger aircraft, it would make sense to convert unused passenger A380s into freighters. At less they would be cheaper than Airbus selling a new A380Fs.

  • If they engineer some legitimate “Cargo Doors”, I could see this as a legitimate option – perhaps the ONLY option the A380 has left!

    Too bad they didn’t design it with the flight deck on the top level.would’ve been much easier for front access capability.

    If they could get rid of the second deck altogether and have one HUUUGE space, they may have something useable by NASA and other space agencies!

  • Yes becousd it IS icon of aircraft and should stay as AN 225 mybe only one in market wich can provide such thing

  • Being an Airbus A319 and A320 Pilot, I believe that there are more A319/A320 in service that could be converted. Why not convertI guess the A319/A320?

  • Removing seats for accomodate light and low volume cargo seems to be easy. Logistic work is something expensive using passengers doors. Remodel the cabin and installing big cargo doors decrease the logistic work a lot, but increase the structural redesing and consecuent job, but this last option looks to have more benefits, in the long term, considering the A380 has not big options and a new cargo plane is very expensive.

  • the only future for the A-380 is cargo transportation. At present, it seems that the 747 is leading the race in that sector

  • Converting the Airbus A380 into a freighter is a worthwhile thing to do with these aircraft at this time. If it should work out, maybe Airbus could produce some cargo only version of the A380.

  • I'm not only thinking this is a good idea… why not go the extra step in actually converting the A380s into freighters with massive cargo doors on the upper and lower deck. If there is no demand for an aircraft with such high capacity, maybe the A380F could be more successful?

  • COVID 19, while proving to be an economic nightmare for governments, Corporates and the man on the street, has also brought out the innovative streak in the human brain. Aircraft manufacturers will now seriously look at quick turnaround flexibility in their equipment, from passenger to cargo mode and vice versa. Economies of scale will fall in place, with more cargo aircraft crisscrossing the skies, making air freight costs more reasonable and affordable to shippers.

  • it makes a lot of sense converting the A380 into a cargo freighter more now that many airlines will retire it from passenger operations, but Lufthansa Teknich is workg now on a freghter conversion for the A380. We'll have to wait to see with what Lufthansa came up with

  • In one hand, the increasing number of A380 retirement could offer a better solution for airlines retiring their fleet than sending them to scrapyard. However, the fact that A380 can't have a nose door like 747 is limiting this solution to cargo that is only as high as their cabin ceiling. As Airbus has announced that they are canceling the A380 program, I doubt airline would want to invest so heavily in soon-to-be-obsolete aircraft for such a niche market.

    • Hey Ameya, This video was planned prior to DJ's video. It's just a popular subject right now. – TB

  • It might be good for carrying lightweight cargo like PPE and such. However for reference the B777F max payload is around 100 tons. The 747-8F max payload is 134 tons.

  • Why convert anA380 when there are hundreds of 747s about that could be converted a lot more cheaply to do a better job. Converting the A380 would be throwing good. money after bad, The sooner the Airbus vanity project is forgotten the better

  • One thing I don’t see answered is what do you do with the seats? They are quite large, bulky, and hard to handle. I know I used to work on airplanes and during inspections had to remove the seats. Each A380 has 400 to 500 seats. That’s a lot of warehouse space. Then when you need to reinstall them the aircraft is on the other side of the world parked on an apron.

  • I would convert the upper deck into cargo permanently and leave just the lower deck (middle section) for passengers.

  • I think Airbus should take the initiative to convert A380's into cargo only flights during these desperate times to generate some revenue for the airlines as well as contributing to a humanitarian cause by supplying medical supplies to those countries in need.

  • Begs the question that aircraft manufacturers do not automatically design in from conception a proper cargo door – so they have time to get the A321xlr sorted now!!!!

  • I think it would be a great idea for Airbus. Instead of retiring the planes,they should switch all the A380s into cargo carriers. All the airlines that have those aircrafts,should consider converting that idea.

    • Elizabeth Ortiz Won’t happen. If they put cargo doors in the sides, no loading equipment today will reach the top deck. It can only fly into certain airports, and it will never be able to fill the planes volume before its too heavy to fly. The 747-8 is still being produced and is cheaper to operate, and the 777 is an amazing cargo aircraft. The 380’s time has come and gone.

  • Maybe a little late? The B747F and B747-8 is now dominating the world in air cargo. Airbus should have thought this a long time ago. The 747 as a passenger version is almost dead but the cargo version will keep flying for years.

  • I think they should make conversion kits for a380s and even fully cargo version of the a380 because then the plane will find a very good use and not die or get fazed out by airline because then they could just dig into the cargo market when they’re done with their A380’s

  • Hi, MALAYSIA AIRLINES has made announcement on their 1 of A380s converted from passanger to cargo and operated under MAScargo. The first A380s in the world to do so.

  • It makes sense to A380 carriers, to convert at least 1 or 2 aircrafts to freighters. Those can be used to keep pilots in the air and not grounded. Once travel starts again, they can save some expensive retrainings.

  • They simply have no choice. The 380 has turned into a dinosaur so quickly. So many of the ones of the grounded ones will never return to the sky. They have started scrapping the first ones already!

  • Although 747 will always be the queen of the sky the A380 will always be the king of the sky this was an engineering feat and together with 747 is an awesome thing to look at , I always thought A380 will always be right at home carrying cargo only if Airbus had this in mind from the start as air cargo will only get bigger and wish both planes stay in service for a long future.

  • Less than 8 tonnes on an A350? 😂🤣😂 a B737-400 freighter carries much more than that. Even if an A380 carried 3 times that or 24 tonnes, that's still less that I carry daily on a B757 converted freighter and we can turn around (unload/load) in about 30 minutes. How long to bulk load an A380? Hours and endless hours. Good news is apparently finding feed-stock for new dedicated freighters won't be a problem.

  • Good idea save the A 380
    Would be a pity with all of the R&D that went into manufacturing them be scrapped😩

  • I never got a chance to fly the A380 so being able to see it continue to operate in whatever form is my prayer for my most admired plane.

  • There will not be a cargo version of the A380. Too many technical problems. The lavatories are structural elements which can not be removed. The lavatories make the fuselage tube stiff.

  • Yes, as this would solve a lot of peoblems with regards to the needs for cargo given passenger service has all but dried up given the covid-19 crisis.

  • The A330 freighter is an existing product. The same main deck door will also fit the A340
    The A350 freighter is an aircraft Airbus are actively developing.

    By comparison the A380 freighter was abandoned by Airbus 7 years ago. So a lot of work is likely needing to be done by Lufthansa Technik in order to convert an existing aircraft.

    • Lufthansa Technik is temporarily converting one A380 for passenger use, however, it is not known which airline they're doing this for right now. – TB

  • FedEx wanted 380 cargos.. but once they finished math the plane actually became a red herring.. reason is time to load and off load cargo.. while on the ground air cargo loses money ..henceforth the special aircraft containers that maximizes the entire cross section of the airframe.. and the truth. Around times to keep the plane flying g.. a dc10 cargo from kiad to kmem, with minimum fuel can only hold about 135,000 lbs payload how long would that take to load by hand..

  • If they do it now, it will be too little, too late. The Boeing 747 has stolen a march in the air cargo market by a huge margin.

  • Basically they're makeshift com-bees. Passengers in first class. Cargo everywhere else.

  • They actually had a cargo version planned with FedEx as the launch customer. With the delays getting the passenger planes to market, the cargo version went away. It really wouldn’t make a good cargo conversion. The decks aren’t stout enough to handle the loads that would be conceivable put on it. A dedicated cargo version would be a different animal, but that isn’t happening.

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