American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) is considering adding dedicated freighters to its line up due to the new opportunities that have arisen in the cargo market, President (Cargo) Jessica Tyler said during a Cargo Facts virtual symposium.

"We used to dust that off every couple of years and the answer was usually still no. Now we’re dusting that off every couple of weeks and taking a look at whether or not it makes sense. We recently announced, as an airline, the retirement of additional aircraft, so there are options available to us to continue to evaluate whether that makes sense for us," Tyler said.

The carrier has not operated dedicated freighters since the mid-1980s, although it resumed cargo-only flights during the COVID-19 pandemic, using its passenger widebodies. According to the ch-aviation schedules module, the airline currently uses B787-8s, B787-9s, B777-200ERs, and B777-300(ER)s to run cargo-only scheduled flights to Europe and Asia.

Tyler underlined that the carrier was studying various options for the cargo market beyond the potential induction of in-house freighters. Other solutions would entail closer cooperation with partners from the Oneworld alliance to coordinate capacity.

"There are so many variations of what that could mean for someone like American, whether that’s our own aircraft that we convert or some other option," she added.

American Airlines' cargo revenue in the third quarter of 2020 reached USD207 million, a drop of just 0.4% compared to the same period of 2019. In comparison, the carrier's passenger revenues plummeted by 76.9% in the same time.