United Maintains Cargo Capacity To Connect Military Families

United Airlines is following the lead of other airlines to maintain key cargo links. In recent days, the airline has flown widebody aircraft to key military destinations including Guam and Frankfurt with supplies and mail. The airline will continue to preserve key cargo links in order to bring equipment, supplies, and cargo to military bases around the world.

United Cargo
United Airlines is preserving some key cargo links. Photo: United Airlines

United maintaining cargo-only flights

Cargo-only flights are becoming one of the ways for airlines to scratch a living amid plunging passenger demand. United is increasing the frequency of cargo-only flights. These planes are off to destinations including Guam, Kwajalein, and a number of European countries. Guam and Kwajalein are two destinations on United’s Island Hopper service.

United Maintains Cargo Capacity To Connect Military Families
United operates a Boeing 737 on an island-hopper service. Photo: airbus777 via Flickr

Since the week of March 23rd, United has been flying 40 cargo-only flights every week using a mixed fleet of Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft. These flights carry cargo and mail from US hubs to key international business and military destinations.

On March 28th, United flew a cargo-only Boeing 777-300ER charter flight transporting close to 100,000 pounds of food supplies to Guam to support US military operations there.

United Guam Cargo
United flew a Boeing 777-300ER to Guam with essential food items. Photo: United Airlines

In addition, United has built up a charter network to transport military mail on to Frankfurt for further distribution to Europe and the Middle East from Frankfurt. Since March 20th, United notes that it has flown 30,000 pounds of military mail between Chicago O’Hare and Frankfurt. On the return, it is an average of 35,000 pounds of mail.

On these flights, United Cargo President Jan Krems offered the following statement:

“Connecting products and mail to people around the world is the United Cargo mission. Keeping our military families connected with the goods they need, and keeping them connected with loved ones to feel a sense of home, is of critical importance. As a company that has long supported our military families and veterans, our teams are proud to mobilize to lend a hand.”

Other cargo-only flights are operating to places like Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong, and Shanghai in addition to Frankfurt. Here is the full map of cargo-only flights United is flying through May.

Cargo-only flights that United is operating through May. Image: GCMaps

While passengers may not be flying off to have a business meeting in Frankfurt or start a vacation in Guam, members of the United States military stationed there still need to receive foodstuffs and cargo. Even if there is a significant decline in passenger flights across the United States, airlines will have to maintain some flights to ensure the movement of cargo and, in today’s world, medical supplies.

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United will have to continue some flights to ensure the movement of cargo. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

This is especially true for more isolated destinations like Guam, the Marshall Islands, Hawaii, and more. Especially in the US Pacific Islands, United is often a key player in maintaining vital air links.

What do you make of United’s new cargo-only flights? Does your community rely on air links to receive essential freight and mail? Let us know in the comments!