The arrival of the first Kelowna Flightcare DC-10, re-styled as KF Aerospace at Brussels Airport, was the occasion for a ‘Surf & Turf’ party for partners and customers of the Canadian
Peter Kales, CEO of KF’s GSA Kales Group said that the company is finally offering a valuable air cargo connection between Brussels and Canada, on outgoing flights loaded mainly with lobsters. According to Kales they were being trucked in to the northern U.S. or sent via belly freight on other aircraft, but will now be able to discover the new customer base, all over Europe. “Brussels Airport is the ideal airport for both lobsters and DC-10s,” he said.
The first flight carried around 60 tons, the second 57 and the third was so fully booked that some shipments had to be off-loaded. Historically KF was the parcel and mail carrier for the Canadian Post and switching to ‘real’ air cargo meant some changes had to be made, according to Mr. Kales. “For one thing, the aircraft have to be adapted to be able to carry the 20 foot pallets”, he added.
CETA to propel trade
KF’s Canadian volume may help make Brussels the lobster capital of Europe. This position could be even stronger after full implementation of the pending Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, which will eventually lead to the elimination of all tariffs. The first stage of implementation is expected in a year to a year and a half.
KF Aerospace president Tracy Medve said that KF’s initial scepticism on the Brussels venture was quickly replaced by enthusiasm. The response from the market is clearly there, thanks to DHL - the first customer on the former European leg - and from customers as far as Italy and Germany.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels