Does USPS use planes – All About It

The United States Mail Service, often known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service, is a separate executive branch organization in the United States that is in charge of providing postal service across the country, including its affiliated states and insular territories. 

Mail and packages have been transported through the air to assure prompt delivery for the receivers since the USPS first tried postal flying in 1911. To guarantee that your letters and packages arrive on time, USPS employs air mail for various services locally and abroad. 

You may be wondering at this point if USPS owns any aircraft. Continue reading this post to discover everything in detail.

Does USPS use planes

Does USPS Have Planes?

The US Postal Service owns no private aircraft. The national delivery service for the United States is called the United States Postal Service (USPS). The organization states that it has access to 160 million homes, companies, and Post Office Boxes in addition to every address in the country. 

The firm does not operate any planes, which is odd since it is one of the largest delivery businesses in the world. It generates approximately $71 billion in operational revenue from its 34,000 retail locations. 

Furthermore, it engages about 650,000 people and distributes around 48% of the mail worldwide.

An airline requires a significant financial investment and involves several logistical challenges. Everything necessary for this contract system to function has now been put up by the USPS. 

Additionally, letters and parcels aren’t the ideal items to transport by the airline. Usually, bulkier commodities are flown by freight airlines besides mail. 

It would be extremely expensive for the USPS to operate mail-only aircraft, and they would probably be doing so at a setback, which would be unsustainable.

The background of air freight

Frank Hitchcock, the Postmaster General at the time, flew over Baltimore in a plane in 1910. As this was during the early days of flying, there were no contemporary amenities, and the aircraft were tiny and had open cockpits. However, Mr. Hitchcock was a supporter, and the following year, he approved US postal flights. 

The USPS would conduct many more testing aircraft over the years. Postal officials tried pushing congress for financing in 1912 after being intrigued by the findings.

Congress finally authorized the USPS to hire private aircraft firms to handle airmail operations in 1925. It became popular as commercial airplanes continued to transport mail to many locations. By 1927, every airfreight shipment was covered by a contract. 

Additionally, airmail grew globally in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Jet planes were often used to transport mail by the 1960s. Airmail flying is still being contracted out by the USPS. 

To deliver mail, it bargains agreements with commercial airlines.   In reality, numerous early aircraft started as airmail carriers before expanding into commercial aviation. 

Why does USPS not own an airplane?

The USPS avoids flying its planes for a very valid cause. It is primarily an examination of economic concepts. Mail is not a tremendously profitable company, so buying an airplane, filling it with gasoline, recruiting pilots, and setting up a base strategy at airports are costly. 

If the USPS owned aircraft, it would probably only use them to fly to a few locations.  USPS offers a wide range of products, such as stamps and shipping services, but the expense of running what is essentially their aircraft is enormous.

The majority of the mail that the USPS ships are tiny. This also applies to parcels and letters. These parcels do not generate as much income as more extensive pieces of goods because they are all headed to various places. 

As a result, it would be extremely expensive to fly a commercial airliner all over the nation holding simple mail. To make it effective, the USPS would then be required to improve as a shipping firm, which is already highly competitive.

What’s the Process for USPS Air Mail?

The automobiles and vans used by USPS to carry mail are well known. The most effective method for moving a lot of mail is not via automobiles and trucks. Your mailpiece will be shipped most efficiently by the Postal Service, which may involve land, rail, or air transportation. Depending on whatever route 

USPS is determined to be the most feasible one. It might occasionally be a mix of a few. Your package may fly one of three aircraft types by air: a passenger airline, a freight plane, or a mega freight jet carrying huge cargo. The mail is loaded into unique cargo crates that suit the holds below the passenger seats.


Of all the transportation methods used by USPS, air delivery is one of the most used. The quickest option to transport packages across the nation when they need to be delivered swiftly is by the airline. Regarding express services like Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, USPS frequently employs aircraft shipping.

The automobiles and vans used by USPS to carry mail are well known. But when it comes to moving a lot of mail, cars and trucks are not the most effective method. But the USPS does not own any planes. However, the history of the USPS is relatively rich in airmail delivery.

American Airlines and US Airways are no longer used by the U.S. Postal Service to transport domestic mail because they did not fulfill performance standards, such as timely delivery.


Instead of maintaining its fleet of aircraft, the United States Postal Service contracts out the air delivery of its mail to commercial and FedEx Express airlines. However, the cost of flying mail is rising for USPS and airlines. 

I hope you found this post to be informative. Feel free to comment below, and if you enjoyed the post, don’t forget to share it.

Originally posted 2022-10-23 16:30:00.

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