Love is in the air—as in Valentine’s Day flowers being shipped from field to florist by an American Airlines Cargo team that continues to lead the industry in terms of development and performance within the space.
Perhaps nothing else has the inherent ability to say it all quite like a bouquet of flowers: ‘I love you,’ ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘congratulations’—and even, simply, letting a loved one know you’re thinking of them—a flower communicates a common theme of warmth and compassion.
For that reason, American takes the delivery of Mother Nature’s beautiful creation very seriously.
The first part of February is traditionally one of Cargo’s busiest seasons, with weeks of carrying shipments of freshly cut flowers—including everything from tulips and Baby’s-breath to roses—that will eventually end up in stores and the homes of our loved ones. Last year alone, American transported more than 19 million pounds of flowers all over the globe.
Most of these flower shipments are grown in places like the Netherlands, the U.S., Ecuador and Colombia. In fact, flowers are a top export from Latin America. Once picked, flowers are packaged and sent to Cargo, then loaded onto the aircraft with one mission in mind: to warm hearts and brighten spirits.
‘In almost all cases, whether it’s a small boutique or a Costco shipment, air cargo helps flowers make their way onto shelves just days after they’re picked,’ said Marah Schobert, regional manager, American Airlines Cargo Sales – MIA. ‘Due to the delicate nature and timing associated with transporting flowers, in particular, we take extra special care to ensure the satisfaction of the customer—and, ultimately, the joy of the eventual recipient.’
Flowers are carefully stored so they maintain the highest possible quality throughout the entire shipping process. American began worldwide shipments for Valentine’s Day during the first week of February and, on average, will transport 10 to 15 tonnes of fresh cut flowers out of Amsterdam alone during those couple weeks.
So why do more growers and florists trust American to ship their flowers than any other airline? The answer is quite simple, really.
‘[American Airlines] offers a very good service,’ explains Chris Johnson, director of transportation at CalFlowers. ‘They can get a box of flowers airport to airport literally the same day… Over the years, American has learned how to handle flowers and their excellent cargo operation has got things well-oiled.’
In fact, American’s commitment to leading the industry in flower delivery does not end once those Valentine’s roses finally sell out in your local boutique. Beginning May 5, the airline will implement a direct service from DFW to Amsterdam to further support its growing flower and perishables business—and just in time for Mother’s Day in the U.S.
‘The first five months of the year are the busiest for the flower industry,’ said Andy Cornwell, regional manager, American Airlines Cargo Sales – Northern Europe. ‘Essentially, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day all drive demand and require that we go the extra mile to deliver on the needs of our customers—and, ultimately, their customers.
‘At the end of the day, our passion is creating smiles, which is really the catalyst for the superior, flexible service that we provide. We understand our customers and take pride in meeting and exceeding the demands of their respective industries.’
Compassion and commitment: It’s a theme that transcends Valentine’s Day at American Airlines.