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Taipei, Taiwan - Taiwanese carriers join the forces to transport cargo in the passenger cabins of planes. An airline manager said the idea is tempting, as demand for air travel plunged while demand for air cargo is still strong.

But permissions from the regulator and training of the loaders are issues to be addressed.

After StarLux, other Taiwanese Airlines are preparing to apply to the Civil Aeronautics Administration of Taiwan (CAA) for permission to transport cargo in the passenger cabins of their planes. Last month StarLux became the first among the Taiwanese carriers to operate cargo-only flights using the normal cargo holds of its three Airbus A321neo jets.

“We are considering whether to increase our capacity by putting cargo on passenger seats. The advantage is that we can improve revenue, although fastening the cargo might scuff our brand-new seats,”

said StarLux spokesman Nieh Kuo-Wei.

“We are still evaluating whether the plan has merit,” 

Nieh added.

StarLux has been focused on cargo services between Taiwan and Macau, Penang, and Malaysia, to neutralize the revenue losses due to the stumbling passenger flights after travel restrictions. EVA Airways and China Airlines have also applied to the Taiwanese regulator to conduct cargo-only flights using the holds of passenger jets. They also consider boosting capacity by using passenger seats.

Many airlines around the world are carrying cargo in the passenger cabins of their aircraft to supply critical medical equipment needed to fight against the global pandemic.

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