American Airlines Running Its First Scheduled Cargo-Only Flights Since 1984

With Americans being told not to travel abroad, and non-residents who have been in Europe over the past 14 days not permitted to travel to the U.S., American Airlines has reduced its transatlantic and transpacific flying to three routes total.

However supply chains matter as much – probably more – than ever before, as anyone who has tried to get toilet paper in the last week can probably attest.

American Airlines which shares that their planes have brought COVID-19 test kits to Chicago, will be running their first scheduled ‘cargo only’ flights since 1984 when they retired their last Boeing 747.

They’ll operate two Boeing 777-300ER trips Dallas Fort Worth – Frankfurt – Dallas Fort Worth over the course of four days.

The first cargo-only flight departs from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) tomorrow, March 20, landing at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) March 21. 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.

American expects the 777s to be loaded to capacity with cargo, transporting 400,000 pounds in total of “medical supplies, mail for active U.S. military, telecommunications equipment and electronics that will support people working from home, and e-commerce packages.”

Moving goods around the world is as crucial as ever – even more so as we watch the world slip into a recession as governments put their economies intentionally on life support to prevent the spread of disease. Keeping supply chains moving will help people stuck at home, people in need of medical assistance, and people whose jobs depend on commerce.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Good! This move benefits the airline, benefits the workers, and benefits the public.

  2. Maybe they’ll decide they like moving freight more than people. That would be a win for both.

  3. I wonder if they will do some cargo flights to South America. They’ve often carried cargo of flowers from Colombia and fresh fruits and vegetables from Chile.

  4. Weird we make toilet paper here in the usa, we don’t import it. No one needs to be hording it from other people.

  5. Somehow this reminds me of “Mail Myself To You” by Woody Guthrie.
    “I’m a-gonna wrap myself in paper,
    I’m gonna daub myself with glue,
    Stick some stamps on top of my head;
    I’m gonna mail myself to you.”
    LOL. In a cargo only plane.

  6. Would be nice if the plane was loaded with the W.H.O. tests for COVID-19 tests from Germany, to get enough for widespread testing here. These is no good reason we are still on an ‘America Alone’ vector during a world-side pandemic, is there?

  7. A friend in the air freight business told me that freight rates have tripled (in Hong Kong, at least).

  8. Technically the story is not accurate. AA carried mail only on a DC-10 for several weeks before Christmas 1994 between New York and Washington. This new flight may be the first freight flight since the 747 freighters were sold in 1984.

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