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If you are reading this column aboard an American Airlines jet, as I assume most of you are, take a quick look around the cabin. Check out your fellow travelers and imagine the multitude of reasons they are flying today. The woman next to you might be on her way to a pivotal business meeting. The man behind you might be about to see his new grandson for the first time. The young lady across the aisle might be on her way back to college. To me, our ability to enrich people’s lives by transporting them quickly from one part of the world to another is very inspiring.

But the wonders we make possible are not confined to the passenger cabin. In the belly of any given American Airlines jet, there may be tropical flowers on their way to a florist in Boston, semiconductors en route to a manufacturer in Texas, fresh seafood being transferred from Chilean waters to Chicago dinner plates, or even a diadem.

Before you reach for your dictionary, let me explain that a diadem is a royal crown, and the one we carried most recently belonged to King Tutankhamun of Egypt. American Airlines Cargo was chosen to transport from London to Dallas the priceless artifacts included in the exhibit "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," which is showing at the Dallas Museum of Art through May 17. We were entrusted with shipping more than 130 pieces, some weighing nearly a ton. The exhibit provides a glimpse into the life of the famous "Boy King," who died under mysterious circumstances when he was 18 or 19.

Our team’s ability to flawlessly move an exhibit of this size, complexity, and delicacy underscores just how far our cargo capabilities have come since the mail-only flights (often piloted by legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh) we operated way back in 1926. Today, airfreight forwarders, logistics providers, and a myriad of other businesses rely on AA Cargo to keep their operations humming and their customers happy. In some cases, we represent the glue holding an entire manufacturing process together. With thousands of flights a day to hundreds of destinations in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia, we have the capacity to carry up to one hundred million pounds of cargo each week.

We are one of the largest cargo carriers on the planet, but that doesn’t mean we carry only the big stuff. In fact, we offer a full range of precision-shipping products perfect for those crucial legal documents that must get to New York by the close of business and for the cooler containing human kidneys that must reach the other side of the country in time to save a life.

You might say that on American Airlines, you don’t need to be a king, a queen, or even a person to get the royal treatment. On every airplane we fly, amazing stories are unfolding, both in the passenger cabin and in the belly below. And on behalf of our entire team, I want to thank you for letting us be a part of your story today. If you would like to learn more about our cargo capabilities, please visit www.aacargo.com, and if you get the chance, you should definitely check out "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Have a great trip, and happy New Year!

Signature of Gerard Arpey

Gerard J. Arpey
Chairman &; CEO
American Airlines