American Airlines flies flowers in time for Valentine’s Day

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American Airlines has been busy preparing for Valentine’s Day, shipping flowers, plants, chocolates and gifts around the globe.

The airline ships flowers and other perishable goods all year round but the first half of February is especially busy, with the most popular flowers around including carnations, mini-carnations, roses and tropical flowers like calla lilies.

Flowers come from countries all around the world, with many coming from Latin America, particularly from locations including Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia, where the climate creates an ideal year round growing season.

In 2017, American Airlines Cargo shipped more than 10 million pounds of flowers out of Amsterdam, and that total is expected to grow now that the airline has a direct service with Dallas Fort Worth.

American Airlines Cargo is continuing to improve its systems to ensure fast delivery of perishables, including adding the option for a protective shield for flowers in June 2017 to help maintain the highest possible quality throughout the journey.

American Airlines vice president of cargo operations, David Vance says: “We have to constantly monitor minimum and maximum temperature exposure throughout the entire routing process, and we have to meet very specific requirements to help ensure every flower’s freshness is properly preserved.

“But this extra care is worthwhile—that’s how we make it possible for people around the world to send and receive things, like delicate chocolates and fresh roses, as if they were made—or picked—that same day.”