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Toulouse, France - Many airlines are in rush to convert their passenger planes to freighters temporarily since the demand for air travel plummeted drastically due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To help airlines to meet increasing cargo demand, especially for the transportation of medical equipment to fight the outbreak, Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR offers a new concept of flexible cargo capacity and easy reconfiguration from full passenger to combined cargo/passenger layout overnight.

The concept allows ATR operators - on a permanent or seasonal basis - to catch new business opportunities, welcoming more cargo traffic on routes with limited passenger demand.

New concept to offer flexibility between full passenger configuration and passenger + cargo configuration. Quick installation with overnight conversion reduces the number of passenger seats from 72 to 44 and increases cargo volume from 10.6 m3 (374 ft3) to 19.2 m3 (678 ft3) and Cargo load from 1,700 kg (3,750 lb) to 3,100 kg (6,830 lb).

The reconfiguration from passenger to "Cargo Flex consists in removal of passenger seats, nets, posts, partitions and the front cabin attendant seat and installation of from two containers on ATR 42-600s or four cargo containers on ATR 72-600s. Re-installation of passenger configuration is also an overnight operation, according to the European turboprop manufacturer.

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