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Air Canada solidifies its commitment to cargo for the long term

Premium Analysis

Cargo’s rising popularity among passenger airlines during the coronavirus pandemic has been well documented, but Air Canada is making a long term commitment to its cargo business as a means of establishing a steady source of diversified revenue. During 2021 Air Canada operated 10,217 cargo-only flights, which was more than double the 4,235 cargo services Air Canada flew in 2020.

The airline has converted some 767 widebodies from its passenger fleet to an all-cargo configuration. The first aircraft began operations in December, and Air Canada expects to have three more in operation by the end of 2022. Air Canada now aims to place Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 widebodies it had temporarily converted for cargo flights back into passenger service by the end of 2022.

The company’s allegiance to its cargo business is reflected in recent investments at its Toronto Pearson hub and its decision to convert aircraft into an all-cargo configuration. Those moves are driven by Air Canada’s conclusion that opportunities to drive cargo revenue will only grow. 

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