American Airlines keeps cargo-only flights to Beijing through March
TEXAS-BASED American Airlines will continue to operate cargo-only flights to Beijing Capital International Airport with passenger aircraft through the end of March, after which all activity will switch to Beijing's new airport
20 October 2020 - 19:00
The carrier announced it is moving flights to the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, the biggest airport in the world, when passenger service resumes from its hub at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) airport on March 27,2021. Flights will operate daily on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
'It is still too early to determine how the return of passenger service to Beijing may impact our cargo-only flying in March. That will depend on the demand at that time, but either way all of our flying would move to PKX [Beijing Daxing],' spokeswoman Laura Bassel said.
American Airlines operates two daily auxiliary freighters to Beijing - one each from Los Angeles and DFW - via Seoul, South Korea. Both flights are on a Boeing 787-9.
American has flown 174 dedicated cargo flights to Beijing through October 7 and 2,992 cargo-only flights overall since March, Ms Bassel said.
Passenger freighters were envisioned as a temporary way to utilise assets during the coronavirus crisis. Passenger airlines adapted to flight closures caused by COVID-19 and travel restrictions by shifting a portion of their fleets to dedicated cargo operations, reports New York's FreightWaves.
United Airlines recently announced that improvement in travel demand is allowing it to transition some cargo-only flights between Shanghai and San Francisco back to regular passenger service.
US airlines suspended flights to China early this year when the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread worldwide.
Delta Air Lines and United have recently taken advantage of Chinese loosening of COVID-related flight restrictions to restart some flights to China, but American is taking longer to do so. The carrier plans to resume service to Shanghai from DFW next month.
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