United revealed on 22 March that it had begun using some of its Boeing 777 and 787 fleet as dedicated cargo charter aircraft to transfer air freight between air cargo hugs in the US and elsewhere.

    United Cargo says it ships more than one billion pounds of cargo every year on average on behalf of its domestic and international customers. With getting critical goods transported now more important than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, the airline is utilising its capabilities to get vital shipments such as medical supplies to areas that need them the most.

    The first of United’s cargo-only flights departed on 19 March from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Frankfurt International Airport with the cargo hold completely full and containing more than 13,154 kg of goods.

    Detailed operation

    To support its cargo customers, employees and the global economy, United says it will initially operate a schedule of 40 cargo charters each week targeting international destinations. It will also continue to seek additional opportunities to keep the global supply chain moving.

    “Connecting products to people around the world is the United Cargo mission,” said United Cargo president Jan Krems. “That role has never been more crucial than during the current crisis. Our team is working around the clock to provide innovative solutions for our customers and support the global community.”

    Continued passenger operations

    The airline said on 21 March it is reinstating some of its international flights across the globe to help displaced passengers to get home.

    While United’s international schedule will remain reduced by around 90 per cent in April, it will continue operating six daily flings to and from Asia, Australia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.

    “This remains a fluid situation, but United continues to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world, especially in these challenging times“, the airline commented.