American Airlines Cargo has expanded and extended its European trucking network this summer to better serve an even greater number of customers.
The trucking services operate using flight numbers, connecting offline cities and online points with the rest of the airline's global network, via the 450-plus flights that depart from Europe every week.
With multiple truck options per night, American can link together key European cities, which helps maintain high load factors, and increases capacity and routing options for customers. The Netherlands, Germany and France all feed nightly freight into the airline's London Heathrow (LHR) operation, which operates 20 flights per day direct to the United States. Almost 4.5 million pounds (2 million kilos) per month is now fed into the online destinations for carriage on the company's aircraft.
"Operating trucking services from across Europe into London enables us to reach cargo markets that we wouldn't otherwise be able to serve," said Andy Cornwell, regional manager, American Airlines Cargo Sales – northern Europe. "It has enabled us to become a major player in a number of markets where we don't have direct lift. By offering overnight trucks, we now can serve customers in countries like Denmark, Hungary and beyond."
In the last 12 months, American has increased cargo lift out of Heathrow with the introduction of more freight-friendly aircraft, such as the Boeing 777-300 and Boeing 787. These aircraft provide American with the capacity to serve additional markets.
New trucking services from Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Marseilles, France, along with Frankfurt, Germany, have also been set up to serve American's seasonal flights from Barcelona (BCN) to Chicago (ORD).
"Our French team could see that we had an opportunity to maximize capacity from Spain by launching dedicated trucking services to connect with our flights," said Kathleen Lesage, regional manager, American Airlines Cargo Sales – western Europe. "And, with those southern cities being much closer in miles to Spain than Paris, it made perfect sense."
The UK export airfreight market, combined with the extra freight from across Europe—thanks to the expanded trucking network—has been key for the American team in Europe, enabling them to set record after record for the pounds shipped on an individual day into and out of LHR.