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Ask the pilot: Does the passenger planes also carry cargo?

How do you start a plane? How fast do commercial jets fly? The best people to answer your questions about the wonders of aviation are SAS pilots.

Age: 51
Career: Marie took her private pilot’s license in the US at age 17. She continued flight training at Bromma Flygskola in Stockholm and started at Linjeflyg in 1989 as first officer on an F28, followed by Boeing 767s and 737s at SAS. Captain on a Boeing 737 since 2012.
Home base: ARN
Flies: Boeing 737
Flight hours: 14,000

Hi,

One thing that I have always wondered, is whether passenger planes also carry cargo, mail or something other than people and their luggage, or is this transported in separate cargo plane?
 

Thanks,
Michael

On passenger flights, the travelers’ baggage has priority. However, on many flights there is also room for cargo and mail in the cargo compartments. Usually the cargo onboard short haul passenger flights consists of smaller items that need to reach their destination quickly. Examples of these include live organs for donations, horse semen for breeding and critical parts for repairs of machinery or vehicles.

Long haul aircraft have more space for cargo and often take quite big loads of all different kinds of goods. For example, on SAS flights from Oslo to the US and Asia there are sometimes several tons of Norwegian salmon in the cargo compartments.

There are many restrictions on what items can be accepted on passenger planes, and the cargo, of course, always has to go through security checks. 

Flight Captain Marie Stridh

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