American Airlines to Operate Cargo-Only Flights with Passenger Aircraft

By Paul Riegler on 19 March 2020
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An American Airlines 777-300ER in Dallas

American Airlines announced plans to operate a series of cargo-only flights utilizing passenger aircraft that have been temporarily grounded due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The world’s largest airline hasn’t operated scheduled cargo-only flights since 1984. Those flights ended due to the retirement of its fleet of Boeing 747 freighters.

The first such flight will operate from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Frankfurt Airport, departing on Friday.  The airline will operate a second cargo flight departing Sunday night.

American said that all four flights are booked to capacity.  The cargo includes medical supplies, e-commerce packages, postal mail for members of the U.S. military stationed abroad, and tech gear to support telecommuting.

The airline has “a critical role to play in keeping essential goods moving,” said the airline’s president of cargo operations, Rick Elieson, noting that “challenging times call for creative solutions.”

American isn’t, however pulling its 747 Freighters out of retirement, however. This time around, it is using a grounded Boeing 777-300ER.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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