American Airlines pumps up its international freighter schedule

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
A ULD of temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals is loaded into an aircraft for a cargo-only flight from Zurich to Philadelphia. (American Airlines image)

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines has expanded its cargo schedule in May to provide 140 weekly flights to 15 cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Caribbean, up from 80 flights last week.

New destinations include daily  flights between Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Hong Kong; and weekly flights between DFW and Beijing; DFW, Chicago and Paris (CDG); Chicago and London Heathrow; Philadelphia and Rome; Philadelphia and San Juan, and Philadelphia and Zurich (ZRH).

 “Why we fly hasn’t changed, but out of necessity how we care for people on life’s journey has had to change. Cargo-only fights have allowed us to transport medical equipment, communications and technology tools, pharmaceuticals and food supplies,” said Rick Elieson, president of cargo and vice-president of international operations.

“Air cargo is uniquely positioned to connect the world at a time when barriers and distance threaten to separate us. I’m immensely proud of our teams and business partners who have come together to make these flights possible.”

The airline’s early roots can be traced back to flying cargo, when a Douglas DC-3 loaded with more than 6,000 pounds of fresh spinach, fresh flowers, airplane parts and apparel flew the first scheduled air cargo flight from Burbank, California (BUR) to New York (LGA) on Oct. 15, 1944. American was also the first airline with dedicated cargo terminals.

AA is a now key player in the 35 percent of world trade that moves by air cargo, carrying two billion pounds of goods annually in the bellies of its passenger aircraft.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, air cargo plays a significant role in connecting the world with critical goods — transporting fresh produce, shipping temperature-controlled drug trials for coronavirus (COVID-19) and filling aircraft full of PPE.

Asia Pacific widebody operations

Origin Destination Aircraft Frequency
DFW HKG* 777-300 1x daily
DFW ICN** 787-9 3x weekly
DFW NRT 787-8 3x weekly
LAX HKG 777-300 1x daily
LAX ICN*** 787-9 2x daily
LAX SYD 777-300 1x weekly
PEK DFW 787-9 3x weekly
PVG LAX 787-9 2x daily

*Beginning May 14
**Routing connects to PEK (DFW–ICN–PEK–DFW)
***Routing connects to PVG (LAX–ICN–PVG–LAX)


Europe and Caribbean widebody operations

Origin Destination Aircraft Frequency
DFW AMS 777-300 2x weekly
DFW DUB 777-300 1x weekly
DFW FRA 777-300 2x weekly
DFW MAD 787-8 1x daily
DFW LHR 787-8 1x daily
JFK LHR 777-200 2x weekly
MIA LHR 777-300 1x daily
ORD CDG 787-8 1x weekly
ORD LHR 787-8 2x weekly
PHL FCO 787-8 1x weekly
PHL SJU 787-8 2x weekly
PHL ZRH 787-8 1x weekly