Missing passengers, regional airline Mesa Air to start piloting DHL freight

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A pilot retires from a new DHL freighter Boeing 737-200 din Kuala Lumpur.Jimin Lai | AFP | Getty Images

Airlines are increasingly turning to air cargo as many passengers choose to forgo flights due to the coronavirus pandemic.Mesa Air Group, a regional carrier that operates short routes to the United States and the United States, announced Monday that it will begin stealing packages for Deutsche Post’s DHL Express.

Mesa, based in Phoenix, said it has a five-year agreement to fly for the parcel delivery company and that service will begin in October. The regional airline plans to add Boeing 737 freighters, leased from DHL, and to fly from Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Other carriers have taken similar action as the pandemic continues to limit demand for air travel, pushing airlines to their first losses in years. Just over 8 million people passed Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at US airports in the first 12 days of July, down almost 73% from the same period a year ago , according to federal data.

Sun Country, a Minneapolis-based leisure airline, has reached an agreement to steal packages for Amazon. Meanwhile, larger airlines such as American, United and Delta, which carried cargo in the belly of their passenger planes, began operating freight-only flights after the virus and the travel restrictions that followed curbed much of their international networks.

The airlines will detail the revenues generated by these initiatives when they start reporting their revenues this month. Delta is expected to release its first quarter results before the market opens on Tuesday.

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