American Airlines Group reported positive combined traffic growth in April for American Airlines Cargo and US Airways Cargo.
AA Group’s system cargo tonne miles (CTMs) for the month were 197.2 million, up 12.9 percent over April 2013. Year-to-date CTMs were 757.3 million, up 12.2 percent over the same period in 2013.
Starting Friday, AA Cargo added seasonal wide-body capacity into the European market. AA Cargo is offering daily nonstop service between Chicago O’Hare and Dublin as well as JFK and Rome. Both routes will be operated with a B767-300 aircraft, and service will continue through Oct. 25.
Exports from Dublin are expected to include pharmaceuticals, medical products, aircraft parts and electronics. Eastbound exports will include machine parts, computer parts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
From Rome, exports will include high-end fashion, textiles and automotive parts. Pharmaceuticals are expected to be the primary export eastbound.
AA Cargo also upgraded its wide-body service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Paris to a B777-200 aircraft. Service with a B767-300 aircraft will resume on Aug. 18.
AA Cargo was also busy in Latin America. The carrier transported nine World Rally Cars and race equipment from London to Buenos Aires for Rally Argentina, a rally racing competition.
Working alongside logistics companies Delivered on Time and White Knight Global Logistics, AA transported the race cars from London Heathrow Airport to Ezeiza International Airport through its hubs in Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth and JFK.
Among the cars moved included the Ford Fiesta RS of M-Sport drivers Mikko Hirvonen, who currently sits fifth in the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile drivers’ standings, and Elfyn Evans, who ranks seventh.
Each car was placed in a specialty metal cage that is designed to travel on lower deck aircraft. In total, each shipment weighed between 3,000-4,000 pounds (1,360-1,814 kilograms).
“The cars are completely stripped down, removing bumpers and such, in order to reduce the size as much as possible, and then they’re rebuilt at the rally site,” Michelle Brown, cargo sales specialist for American, said. “The measurements are so critical on these cars that we can only load in the door position of our B777 aircraft, as we have an extra inch or so allowance in that area.”
American began moving the cars on April 29 and continued through May 1.
“This movement is planned several months ahead of time to ensure we can meet the strict time parameters,” Brown said. “Transporting nine of these cars requires 18 separate flights to get them to Buenos Aires in time for the big race.”