American Airlines flies its first coronavirus vaccines to Miami as industry hopes for a recovery

Key Points
  • American Airlines joined United Airlines in flying temperature-controlled vaccine containers.
  • United began flying vaccines from Brussels to Chicago last month.
American Airlines Boing 777-300 wide-body aircraft as seen on final approach for landing at London Heathrow International airport in England, UK.
Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

American Airlines flew its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, joining United Airlines in helping transport doses that executives say will be key to the industry's recovery.

American said Monday that it flew a Boeing 777 between its hubs at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Miami and that the vaccines would later land in a "U.S. territory in the Caribbean later today." A spokeswoman for the carrier declined to disclose the destination.

American operated stress test flights last month to make sure its network and supply chain could handle temperature and other requirements to ship coronavirus vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.

United last month started flying a series of flights to transport vaccines on its largest aircraft between Brussels and its Chicago hub. Passenger airlines are working alongside shipping giants like FedEx and United Parcel Service in distributing the vaccines.

How UPS is shipping the Pfizer Covid vaccine around the U.S.
How UPS is shipping the Pfizer Covid vaccine around the U.S.