23 MARCH 2020
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American Airlines (AA) announced this week that it will be utilising grounded aircraft to move cargo between the United States and Europe.
Air cargo has always played a key role in times of crisis to keep the world’s infrastructure intact and in these unprecedented times AA is doing its bit with the battle against COVID-19. This is important now more than ever, as the world relies more on e-commerce to support basic needs during quarantine and social distancing. The airlines' role is deemed a critical infrastructure industry by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Its first cargo-only flight was from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA), on Friday. It used a Boeing 777-300 which had 14 cargo positions for large pallets and can carry more than 100,000lb (approx 45,000kg). It will operate two round trips over the course of four days which are expected to be booked to capacity and will transport medical supplies, mail for active US military, telecommunications equipment and electronics that will support people working from home and e-commerce packages.
The flights provide much needed income for the airline, allowing them to operate in this challenging environment.
Domestically, American 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 Airport to Chicago O’Hare Airport.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Zaheer Faruqi, Peachtree City
Wonder if this will result in a combi version (modification) in future with B777 used for passengers and extra space for carrying light non-hazardous cargo above cabin floor?