BRUSSELS, BELGIUMAir Belgium is planning to expand its cargo business with several B747-8 freighters in early 2022. The airline did not specify the number of planned aircraft.

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in passenger transportation, the airline shifted to cargo operations as many others in the industry, initially converting one of its A340s into a freighter.

Boeing will continue B747-8F production through 2022 as it has six more freighters to deliver - four for Atlas Air and two for UPS Airlines. Air Belgium will therefore add second-hand planes from lessors or other cargo operators.

In early 2021 the airline began cargo operations with four dedicated A330-300(P2F)s on behalf of CMA CGM Air Cargo. Later it added two A330-900s. Air Belgium's fleet currently comprises four A330-200Fs, one A330-900, and three A340-300s.

The carrier's Liège-based cargo operations include a mix of charter flights on behalf of CMA CGM and wet-lease operations for Qatar Airways.