KQ makes history with conversion of 787 Boeing Dreamliner into a cargo plane

KQ 787 Boeing Dreamliner
KQ 787 Boeing Dreamliner converted into a cargo plane. [Photo: Courtesy]

A Kenya Airways Boeing 787 passenger plane has been repurposed to a cabin cargo “Preighter, courtesy of a collaboration between Kenya Airways and Avianor.

The two entities coined the name preighter in reference to passenger planes which have been repurposed for cargo freights.

Preighter is the first-ever aerospace engineering that has converted a passenger plane into a single cabin cargo plane for Boeing 787.

“Kenya Airways and Avianor are making aerospace history with a first-ever cabin cargo repurposing of a Boeing 787 into a “Preighter”. The term preighter was coined in the pandemic to refer to passenger aircraft converted to carry cargo,” KQ as its international code is known said in a statement.

KQ added that the maverick engineering is testament that Avianor and Kenya Airways are the undisputed aero trailblazers.

“This joint effort is a worldwide breakthrough as it is the first-ever cargo repurpose of this type to be performed on the Boeing 787 model, demonstrating Kenya Airways and Avianor’s role as trailblazers in the aero industry.”

The conversion will not cater for a rising demand of air cargo transport in the life and times of COVID-19 pandemic.

Transportation of medical goods and agricultural products has been on a steady increase.

Preighter is certified to haul loads of up to 16 tonnes. This a major step in strengthening trade ties between local and regional economies.

KQ opined that the engineering works to repurpose the plane began in late 2020.

The takeway for Kenya is the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines from various destinations to JKIA’s cargo zone

KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said KQ’s goal is to continue with sustainable development in Africa.

“KQ’s purpose is to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa. The preighter will enable us to bridge businesses & enhance connectivity. Kenya will export more goods to our partners across the globe & stimulate business for local suppliers,” Kilavuka remarked.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and his Industrialization counterpart Betty Main termed this a “big achievement”.