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Air Canada increases cargo fleet with launch of e-commerce service

AIR Canada has entered into the e-commerce market with a dedicated domestic service - while boosting capacity for international cargo, reports London's Loadstar

16 March 2021 - 01:17
AIR Canada has entered into the e-commerce market with a dedicated domestic service - while boosting capacity for international cargo, reports London's Loadstar.

The airline is to ramp up its cargo flights with wide body passenger aircraft and passenger freighters, and is reactivating two parked 787s for cargo missions and removing seats from five more wide bodies to boost its cargo capacity.



'We continue to see extremely high demand, but we are full,' said Air Canada vice president Jason Berry. 'We got approval to take two 787s out of the desert next month, and we will take out the seats from three 777s and two A330s.'



Air Canada was the first airline to remove seats to increase payload capacity. It has been using four 777s and three A330s in this configuration, as well as many other wide body passenger aircraft.



Demand has been robust across the board, said Mr Berry, who said he carrier was flying more than 220 cargo missions a week with passenger aircraft - significantly more than during the peak season, when it was running about 150 cargo flights a week.



'By May, we'll be doing 250-260 a week,' said Mr Berry, ??we know the forwarding community continues to need more lift.'



The capacity expansion comes as the company ushers in its new e-commerce service. After recent pilot trials, the commercial launch came in the past week, albeit without much fanfare, but initial reactions have been positive and indicate strong interest in the market, according to Mr Berry.



The fledgling offering uses a platform developed in close collaboration with SmartKargo. The service leverages AC's domestic network, which enables the airline to offer faster transit times than the competition, Mr Berry said.


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