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Airlines Are Flying Cargo Instead of Passengers

Airlines Are Flying Cargo Instead of Passengers
Meg Butler

What do you do when you can’t fly passengers? Fly cargo instead. Travel restrictions have forced airlines to ground up to 90% of their fleets. That didn’t just stop people from getting place to place. It stopped goods from getting place to place. Planes that fly passengers also fly cargo in their bellies. Now, with just a few cargo-only flights, airlines are helping goods move around the world.

How Do You Fly Cargo in Passenger Planes?

Remove the seats. Airlines report that demand is high for planes with removed seats. But, not all airlines take the seats out. Others put only light items–like face masks–in the top part of the plane. Others use special seat bags that make cargo easier to get into the planes. Tim Gun Voice: Make it work airlines.

What Are They Flying in Cargo-Only Flights?

A wide variety of goods, including personal protective equipment to help the coronavirus social distance. Other goods include pharmaceuticals, automotive components, fresh fruits and vegetables, mail, and electronics.

Who Is Flying Cargo-Only Flights?

Many airlines. United Airlines, for example, has flown 270 cargo-only flights that have carried 9.2 million pounds of cargo. Lufthansa Airlines is flying 35 cargo flights per week. Austrian Airlines plans to fly 16 cargo flights per week.

Air Canada says it has flown dozens of on-demand flights for medical supplies as well as regular goods. Those flights are going to Europe, Seoul, and Hong Kong. 

Some airlines are leaving the details to others. Delta, Cathay Pacific, El Al, and American Airlines are offering their planes to logistics companies and big shippers as cargo-only planes. Many other airlines are following their lead and also offering big shippers as cargo-only planes.

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. pdsales

    April 10, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Natural progression.

    First people pay to fly but their belongings fly for free.

    Then people pay to fly and fees for belongings must be paid.

    Finally, airlines figure out that flying people is their major source of heartburn, so they now just fly paid belongings.

    Just an attempt at humor.

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