During the pandemic passenger flights plummeted. Hundreds of passenger planes were converted to freighters, known as preighters, to transport loads of Covid protection goods and pharmaceuticals.
A Portuguese charter operator was first to convert an A380 for freight, removing most of the seats to provide more cargo capacity.
Many more planes have been converted to freight carriers since then. Although the air cargo industry faces continuing challenges, IATA predicts an anticipated 25% rise in freight tonne-kilometers this year.