Freighters Are Back: Air Canada Welcomes Its 1st Converted 767

Air Canada has welcomed back one of its former Boeing 767 aircraft. The airplane has been converted into a freighter, marking the airline’s return to dedicated freighter operations. During the pandemic, the airline had converted a handful of its passenger aircraft into makeshift freighters, dubbed preighters by the Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr.

Air Canada, Boeing 767, Freighter
Air Canada’s first Boeing 767 has finished being converted into a freighter. Photo: Getty Images

While the pandemic caused huge issues for much of the aviation industry, one small corner flourished. Demand for cargo skyrocketed as people stayed at home. At the same time, the capacity for flying cargo around the world plummeted as passenger aircraft were grounded, including their belly cargo space. This saw many airlines using passenger aircraft solely for cargo flights.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Air Canada’s first converted 767 is ready

Air Canada has welcomed its first converted Boeing 767 freighter to the fleet. Rather than taking a former 767 operated by another carrier, Air Canada has taken one of its own jets for the task. According to data from, the aircraft in question is C-FPCA.

C-FPCA is a 32.72-year-old Boeing 767, meaning that it was reaching the end of its passenger service life. The aircraft was initially ordered by Canadian Airlines on December 22nd, 1987. It took its first flight on March 28th, 1989, and was delivered on April 18th that year.

The jet remained with Canadian Airlines until March 2001, when it became part of the Air Canada fleet. In the years since its first flight, the aircraft has clocked an impressive 135,770 flight hours (15.5 years) across 24,152 flight cycles. Its current market value is $7.78 million.

Converted in Israel

According to ch-aviation’s data, the aircraft was converted into a freighter at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV). The airport is home to IAI, a prominent player in the passenger to cargo conversion market. The company is currently in the process of creating the first Boeing 777-300ERSF.

It seems as though the conversion may have taken a little longer than planned. In February, the airline said it wished to have two converted freighters in service by the fourth quarter peak airfreight season, with an entry to service in October. Additionally, the airline hopes to complete all seven of its planned conversions by Q4 next year.

Air Canada, Boeing 767, Freighter
Air Canada is expected to convert seven Boeing 767s into freighters. Photo: Boeing

We already have an idea of where the aircraft will be flying. The jets will be based in Toronto, with flights planned for Miami, Quito, Lima, Mexico City, and Guadalajara (the first time Air Canada has flown to the destination).

At the time that the airline announced the conversions, the airline’s Executive VP and CCO commented,

“We are exploring the opportunity to convert several of our owned Boeing 767 aircraft to freighters subject to concluding satisfactory arrangements with our pilots. We believe that this will be an exciting opportunity to leverage the growth of e-commerce and Air Canada’s global footprint.”

Are you excited to see Air Canada’s first completed Boeing 767 passenger to cargo conversion? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!