American resumes cargo-only flights

American Airlines is utilizing its currently grounded passenger aircraft to move cargo between the US and Europe, underscoring the importance of its routes for trade.

American Airlines’ first cargo-only flight in 36 years will depart from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) today (March 20), landing at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) tomorrow.

The Boeing 777-300—which had been grounded by the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis—will operate two DFW-FRA round trips over the course of four days, carrying only cargo and necessary flight personnel.

This is American’s first scheduled cargo-only flight since 1984 when the airline retired the last of its Boeing 747 freighters.

The four scheduled flights this weekend are expected to be booked to capacity and transport e-commerce packages, mail for active US military, medical supplies, and telecommunications equipment and electronics.

“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,” American president of cargo and VP international operations Rick Elieson said.

Domestically, American continues to carry cargo on all of its planes. This week the airline also transported its first shipment of COVID-19 test kits from Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

Photo credit: American Airlines