Korean Air has begun to use passenger planes for cargo transportation. The goal is to support companies with logistical problems due to the spread of the virus while reducing aircraft parking charges.
Korean Air announced on March 15 that it has been operating an airliner (Airbus 330-300) capable of transporting 20 tons of cargo on the Incheon-Ho Chi Minh City route since March 13. The plane departs from Incheon loaded with emergency supplies for Korean companies in Vietnam and returns to Korea with Vietnamese agricultural products aboard. Korean Air's Incheon-Ho Chi Minh City route has been suspended since March 3. As the Vietnamese government banned no-visa entries of Koreans while isolating Korean travelers at designated facilities for 14 days, Korean Air began to suspend the Incheon-Ho Chi Minh City service.
Korean Air plans to expand cargo transportation using passenger planes when demand arises. It plans to use a passenger plane for cargo transportation on the Qingdao-Incheon, route on March 21. The route between the two cities has been stopped since Feb. 25.
The idea of using passenger planes for cargo transportation was reportedly suggested by Hanjin Group chairman Cho Won-tae.