Dear ChrisNH -
Like all pilots - I would have like to have my own airline... and if I owned an airline, it would be a cargo airline. The old saying is, boxes do not complain about late departures, do not go to hotels, and do not mind if the cabin is very warm or too cold. Besides, you dont need flight attendants to feed the boxes with peanuts, and a lasagna that you pay $25 per meal to SkyChefs...
Defunct Eastern Airlines operated airplanes at night where the belly was loaded with freight, which paid for the flight. The passengers 'topside' were just gravy on the benefits.
I personally enjoy flying cargo airplanes. I had my career with PanAm, until 1991 bankruptcy, then I went for one year with Cargolux, to be finally hired in Argentina where I am since 1993... My 12 months with Cargolux were probably the best years for me as pilot, the company ran like clockwork, the airplanes were the best 747-200s I ever flew, the company had few planes, yet their revenue-ton-kilometers were the highest in the cargo industry and we even carried passengers on the upper deck, we had one flight attendant, serving up to 16 passengers - i.e. we carried some Mercedes cars going to the Dubai auto show, so we had the Mercedes executives aboard, being served with champagne and caviar... a class act, Cargolux...
Besides, in a cargo airplane, once in the cockpit, I can dress with T-shirt, blue jeans, and jogging shoes, and puff my cigarette if I wish... Besides, since I had no car in Luxembourg, they offered me to take my car from LAX
for free - space available - so I kept my car with me while in LUX
, for most of the time of my contract.