Through its Cargo division, Air Canada has begun using its aircraft to operate cargo-only flights to Europe, with other flights planned for Latin America and South America.
The aircraft on these flights carry no passengers, but move time-sensitive shipments, including medical supplies to combat COVID-19, and goods to support the global economy.
“Air Canada Cargo has long served as a vital link in global supply chains and with the disruption arising from the COVID-19 pandemic our capabilities are more important than ever. Although we have announced very significant temporary capacity reductions and our passenger flights are largely dedicated to bringing Canadians home, Air Canada’s aircraft and our expertise in handling cargo are valuable assets that we can use to move medical supplies and other essential goods to keep the world economy going,” said Tim Strauss, vice-president of Cargo at Air Canada. “We have already begun flights to Europe, and we are planning to expand this program to Latin America and South America, as well as within Canada, including remote communities using Air Canada Express aircraft. In addition to providing a much-needed service, these cargo-only flights are also supporting jobs at Air Canada.”
The first cargo-only flights departed from Toronto this past week for Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam, which are all both important business centres and connection points for onward cargo shipments. The flights were operated using Boeing 787 aircraft capable of carrying 35 tonnes of cargo, the equivalent of about 80 grand pianos.