As Air Canada draws closer to receiving its first 767 freighter aircraft, it has announced the first cargo routes it will fly. The incoming Boeing 767F will fly out of Toronto to Miami, Quito, and several other cities in South America. As more planes join the fleet, routes to Europe will be added. Let’s find out more about Air Canada’s new cargo destinations.
Ready to go
Air Canada has confirmed its first dedicated Boeing 767-300ER freighter will enter service in October, just in time for the peak Q4 cargo season. The 767Fs will be primarily based out of Air Canada’s hub in Toronto Pearson Airport, with some future locations possible too.
This aircraft’s first destinations have also been released today. The cargo jets will fly to Miami, Quito, Lima, Mexico City, and Guadalajara (a first for AC) in 2021. This focus on Latin American highlights the bustling cargo traffic and opportunity in the region.
While the two 767Fs slated for delivery in 2021 will serve the initial routes, Air Canada has bigger plans. Starting early 2022, AC Cargo will start domestic freight flights to Halifax and St John’s and fly its first European routes to the hubs Madrid and Frankfurt. This will be possible once more 767s are delivered to the airline.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
When the pandemic hit, Air Canada was one of many airlines flying cargo-only flights in its passenger planes. The carrier removed seats from cabins to create a “preighter” (passenger freighter) with more capacity. However, the pandemic dragged on, the airline realized that the busy cargo market will be here to stay for some time.
In November, Air Canada confirmed plans to add new 767 freighters, converted from its retired Air Canada Rouge fleet. This allowed the airline to enter the cargo market without the expensive capital of buying or leasing new aircraft.
The seven 767-300ERs are currently undergoing passenger to freighter (P2F) conversions by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). In a statement, Air Canada Cargo Vice President, Jason Berry, said,
“These freighters will provide long-term stability and growth for our cargo customers, in particular the freight forwarding community who require reliable air freight capacity year-round. They will allow us to continue building on the success of our cargo-only flights and are an important part of our future growth. I am excited to have these aircraft enter service, a milestone for Air Canada Cargo that also opens up a world of opportunities for us and our customers.”
As passenger traffic remains subdued in Canada and internationally, cargo is crucial to reducing losses for Air Canada. Moreover, the incoming freighters will also ensure a diversified source of revenue for years to come, another learning from the pandemic. For now, keep an eye out for the first flight of these incoming 767P2Fs.
What do you think about Air Canada’s new cargo routes? Let us know in the comments!