American Airlines is utilising its currently grounded passenger aircraft to move cargo between the United States and Europe.
The first cargo-only flight departs from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport today, headed for Frankfurt Airport. The Boeing 777-300 will operate two round trips between DFW and FRA over the course of four days, carrying only cargo and necessary flight personnel.
This is the first scheduled cargo-only flight since 1984 when American retired the last of its Boeing 747 freighters. The 777-300 has 14 cargo positions for large pallets and can carry more than 100,000 pounds.
The four scheduled flights this weekend are expected to be booked to capacity and transport medical supplies, mail for active United States military, telecommunications equipment and electronics that will support people working from home, and e-commerce packages.
The flights provide much-needed cargo capacity for many regular cargo customers, allowing them to continue operating in this challenging environment.
“We have a critical role to play in keeping essential goods moving during this unprecedented time, and we are proud to do our part and find ways to continue to serve our customers and our communities,” said Rick Elieson, President of cargo and vice president of international operations at American.
“Challenging times call for creative solutions, and a team of people across the airline has been working nonstop to arrange cargo-only flight options for our customers.” Domestically, American continues to carry cargo on all of its planes.