Demand proves robust for American Airlines Cargo

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American Airlines is also bullish about the East Coast.

“Air capacity for cargo from the East Coast is very competitive and constantly changing. But so far this year, demand has been robust. Even as we come into the summer season, that pace has continued,” says AA managing director of Cargo Sales Linda Dreffein.

“Especially from New York (JFK) and Philadelphia, two of our hub cities, we have strong international flight schedules to Europe and Latin America to support that demand. To put it in perspective, from New York alone, we have an average of 113 widebody departures per week. We also have a strong flight schedule to and from the East Coast with major cargo lanes from JFK and Philadelphia including London Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.”

AA says it has seen significant growth in the amount of pharmaceutical shipments moved over the past few years thanks to its dedicated, state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility in Philadelphia. The facility offers controlled room temperature, a refrigerated area for passive shipments, and a frozen area as well.

“We have charging stations with capacity to simultaneously recharge 30+ RKNs, and can offer 24/7 monitoring and a dedicated staff to assure quality,” adds Dreffein.

“This facility allows us to handle an abundant amount of pharma, healthcare, blood and blood materials, which is supported by nearly 100 weekly widebody departures. E-commerce is also quickly becoming a larger and larger part of our business. We carry e-commerce traffic from a variety of shippers to both domestic and international destinations. Seafood, printed matter and machine parts are still an important part of our business and I expect that to continue for years to come.”

In terms of present developments, the group says it has been looking at how it can better serve its customers through technology, infrastructure and process enhancements. As part of this it has created a centralised Customer Service team specifically for its customers in the Northeast.

“This season we’ve also added new flights from our Philadelphia hub to Budapest and Prague, and now our Zurich flight operates from this hub as well,” explains Dreffein.

“Seasonal flights are back to many European cities from both JFK and Philadelphia and we’ve upgraded our daily departures to Amsterdam and Lisbon with widebody aircraft. From Philadelphia, there are some exciting new widebodies to domestic destinations too, including San Juan and Miami.”

As announced in February, AA partnered with technology vendor, IBS, to help it implement a next-generation cargo management system.

“It is a web-based, fully-integrated technology platform that’ll help us transform the way we do business. It’s our largest investment to date and will position us for future growth,” says Dreffein.

“While we don’t have any new routes planned currently, we see opportunities as a result of fleet routing changes. Widebodies from our hubs in the Northeast to domestic cities open new pathways for larger shipments to Latin America through Miami.”