Canada’s national carrier, Air Canada and the Canadian air cargo line and charter operator, Cargojet have decided to join forces on operating cargo routes from Canada to South America and Europe whereby Cargojet will supply Air Canada with cargo capacity in a new ACMI (Aircraft, Maintenance, Insurance) agreement.
Cargojet gets a new breath of life
Although Cargojet has come a long way since its inception back in 2007, it has in the past twelve months been fighting to keep its head above water due to falling revenues.
The new deal with Air Canada Cargo will surely give this traditional Canadian cargo operator a new breath of life.
The agreement, which still has to be officially ratified, would see Cargojet operating with their Boeing 767-300 freighters on an ACMI basis for Air Canada on routes to South America and Europe.
The new South America service is planned to get moving as of early June this year and subject to the necessary government approvals. It will link Toronto with Bogota and Lima and include an intermediate stop in Atlanta.
A Mexico City operation via Dallas/Fort Worth is also in the planning.
Air Canada revealed that there will also be a Toronto to Europe service being operated with Cargojet Boeings, but has so far not indicated exactly when it will start, how many aircraft will be leased or which routes will be flown.
Started as regional cargo operator in 2007
Cargojet has quite a colourful history since starting services back in 2008.
It was actually founded in 2002 from the then Canada 3000 Cargo airline.
In 2007 Cargojet acquired another Canadian regional outfit called Georgian Express for C$1.4 million. Georgian Express, with at that time an annual turnover of C$10 million had a mixed fleet of Beech 1900 and Cessna Caravan freighters.
2008 saw the majority (51%) takeover of Prince Edward Air and the formation then of Cargojet Regional.
Boeing 727-200 freighters joined the fleet and were for a while the main workhorses for Cargojet’s regional nightly freighter services throughout Canada.
The first Boeing 767-200F and B757-200F aircraft, which were passenger conversions, came on line also in 2008.
In the meantime Cargojet operates a fleet of 22 aircraft which includes eight B767-300Fs, two B767-200Fs, five B757-200PCFs and still has seven B727-200 freighters in service.
Most of Cargojet’s services are the nightly cargo operations throughout Canada.
International charter services are offered to Cologne, Germany - Bermuda and Katowice, Poland.
Is this first step by Air Canada to outsource cargo?
Back in the “good old days” Air Canada had operated its own fleet of DC-8 freighters.
The carrier had originally placed an order with Boeing for two B777Fs, but this was cancelled when Air Canada decided to concentrate carrying cargo in the bellies of their passenger fleet.
Is this strategy now changing?
Maybe so - as the upcoming ACMI agreement with Cargojet gives the Canadian national carrier a fresh outlook as regards access to the South American and European air cargo markets.
The deal is beneficial to both carriers.
Cargojet gets far better fleet utilization and Air Canada comes back into the air cargo market.
John Mc Donagh