With cargo space now ironically, desperately short, after weeks ago facing a near doom scenario, KLM is getting seriously bashed from all round the world for its decision to end all 744 operations this week, permanently.
The airline has ten 744’s but five of them are “Combi” M versions that have a rear full cargo door and hold and the forward half is passenger space.
Sometimes described as as 744SCD but officially a 747-406M, 60 were built, of which KLM operated 15 at full capacity. Strictly speaking the M’s can be fitted out with passenger seating in full if required in 24 hours, but it was rarely done, most either being fully “passenegerised” with five usually 50-50.
With such a shortage of cargo space, KLM are being accused of being insensitive to Dutch and other countries needs just when cargo is more vital than ever. However the airline remained politely unmoved by all the criticism. It seems prioritising its own financial well being comes first, no doubt on orders from AF-KLM Group CEO Ben Smith, whose sensitivities about cargo are its just a bonus product, not a main line operation.