Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Airline Harks Back to the Early Days of Air Freight on 75th Anniversary

Wartime Mail Carrying Heritage has Evolved into Giant Carrier
Shipping News Feature

US – It is a mark of how quickly the mode of transport has evolved that this week that, on 15 October to be precise, American Airlines celebrated the 75th anniversary of its first cargo flight. Set in the closing days of the Second World War, AA was not an airline that took passengers and occasional freight, then the driving force was cargo, particularly mail, a service which built into the all-encompassing air transport giant we see today.

The airline has a long history of innovation within the cargo operation, marked by industry firsts such as the first scheduled air cargo service in the world, the first pet carrier container, and the first unit load container (ULD). Supported by loyal team members, some hold as many as 50 years of experience working for the cargo operation.

Other milestones include an award-winning reputation as an air cargo carrier, a record-breaking 2018 year earning over $1 billion in revenue, and more recently exceeding flown-as-booked (FAB) performance goals for 12 consecutive months. All this whilst carrying every type of load imaginable, from fresh produce to DeLorean cars.

American says it continues to focus efforts on how to modernise, innovate and connect the world in better ways, and the airline is currently making its largest single investment in its cargo operation to date with a new IT infrastructure. The first phase of the system went live on October 1 and provides an enhanced online booking platform, increased visibility around the world, and a robust back-end system that will further improve customer and employee experience. American Airlines Cargo President, Rick Elieson, commented:

"From the DC-3s American Airlines flew in our early days to the modern, fuel efficient B777-300ERs and B787-9s in our fleet today, we are extremely proud of the history of this airline's cargo division. We’ve achieved a lot over the past 75 years. I’m proud to be part of an organization that embraces innovation and I’m excited to see what we do next.”

To commemorate 75 years of accomplishment, American has used the hashtag #75for75 over the course of the 75 business days leading up to the anniversary to share historical photos from the decades on their LinkedIn channel. The Day 1 photo featured American’s Flagship DC-3 Airfreighter being loaded with cargo for its first flight.