Air Canada expands its cargo offer

LONDON – Air Canada (AC, Montreal Trudeau) plans to have 12 dedicated freighters by the end of 2024, with a series of passenger-to-cargo (P2F) aircraft conversions underway and new freighter deliveries over the next two coming years.

The airline sees the increased cargo capacity as a “great opportunity”.

Speaking at a press conference, Air Canada Chief Financial Officer Amos Kazzaz said that by the end of 2023, Air Canada will have seven dedicated B767-300s (ERBDSF) and three more B767-300F in 2024 for a total of ten B767s. freighters.

A few weeks ago, the airline confirmed that it would also buy two B777-200Fs which should enter service in 2024.

“We see this as a great opportunity for ourselves. It helps in terms of income diversification and offsets seasonal issues, but more importantly it meets the growing demand for cargo,” Al-Qazzaz said.

“We are pleased with the progress. The conversion process (B767) was a bit slower than expected, but it is catching up, and then we have new freighters coming out of the factories. »

To date, Air Canada has acquired two of the converted B767 freighters. In terms of tonnage, Kazzaz says around 30% of cargo will be transported on dedicated freighters and 70% in the hold of passenger aircraft by the end of 2024.

“What Air Canada brought to this cargo space, behind the decision to invest, is that 80% of cargo business is done by freight forwarders,” Kazzaz said, adding that the breadth of the network of ‘Air Canada International means the airline has strong relationships with freight forwarders and they want dedicated cargo routes.

“They want to separate it from the passenger side of the business,” the CFO said. “On the passenger side, capacity is changing. One day it’s the B787, then it’s the B767.

“Now freight forwarders have the option of reserving dedicated freight lanes which then feed the rest of the network.”

“This really offers a unique opportunity to take advantage of passenger space in the network and also create dedicated freight lanes. About ten hours from Toronto Pearson, you have about 34% of global cargo destinations covered. The infrastructure and geography make it a successful business for Air Canada.


It remains clear that Air Canada is beginning to see the benefits of the cargo market and is therefore expanding its network to meet this increased success.

With two Boeing 777-200Fs on the way, it shows exactly how Air Canada wants to make this a global strategy and, along with higher cargo capacity offerings, provides greater revenue opportunities.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see where the airline expands in terms of routes and what kind of return that will generate for the business in the long run.

Expanding at the right time, being the COVID-19 pandemic, it shows that the carrier is now well prepared on this front to do its best.

With contributions from James Field

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