American Airlines has announced that it will use the existing grounded passenger aircraft for cargo-only flights.

The flights will operate between the US and Europe and are expected to help sustain the airline’s business operations.

This will also ensure goods are delivered to their allocated location on time.

The first flight took off from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) today and will land at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Germany on 21 March.

The Boeing 777-300 will make two round trips between the two airports over the course of four days. The flight will carry only cargo and the necessary flight personnel.

The four scheduled flights will carry medical supplies, mail for active US military personnel, telecommunications equipment and electronics for people working from home and e-commerce packages.

The aircraft has 14 cargo positions for large pallets and the capability to carry more than 100,000lb.

This is the first scheduled cargo-only flight since 1984 when American Airlines retired the last of its Boeing 747 freighters.

American Airlines international operations vice-president and cargo president Rick Elieson said: “We have a critical role to play in keeping essential goods moving during this unprecedented time, and we are proud to do our part and find ways to continue to serve our customers and our communities.

“Challenging times call for creative solutions, and a team of people across the airline has been working nonstop to arrange cargo-only flight options for our customers.”