Philippines carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), has contracted AIRE (Aircraft Interior Refurbishment España) to convert two of its eight A330s into a full cabin cargo configuration in response to increased cargo demand brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
AIRE Part 21J worked double time alongside the engineering team of CEB to meet the seven-day lead time of the project. Within this period, the required post-modification configurations were finalised and a documents package demonstrating compliance with relevant regulations was released. This package included the ICA documentation to process the exemption application under Article 71(1) Regulation (EU) 2018/1139.
AIRE has also been handling the manufacturing and procurement of all the materials required to undertake the aircrafts’ conversion from passenger to cargo operations, adding cargo space in the cabin as well as the belly. The team began with nets and additional EFPMS procurement, and also manufactured two kits of placards (to indicate the locations of additional emergency equipment, cargo areas, and relevant limitations) as well as two carpet kits for the new layout.
The cargo conversion has been initially submitted to the authorities for exemption under Article 71 (a) for a period of eight months, with hopes to secure full approval for flying in cargo configuration shortly. This exemption has allowed the airline to begin using its newly converted aircraft with a short lead time, ensuring cargo operations continue smoothly.
“The project was challenging, but thanks to our tireless team and experience accumulated on cargo operations over 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,” stated Juan Arevalo, engineering director at AIRE.