Air Canada Operates 4,000th Cargo-Only Flight Since MAR, Readies For Vaccine Distribution

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Air Canada Cargo’s flight between YYZ-LIM yesterday marked its 4000th cargo-only flight this year.
The cargo-only flights carried pharmaceuticals, water purifying equipment & vehicle parts.
Photo credit: Air Canada via Twitter.

With AC7227 touching down in Lima, Peru from YYZ yesterday, Air Canada has operated 4,000 all-cargo flights since launching into the cargo-only flight business in MAR 2020, at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It's a move Air Canada says positions it well to play a key role in carrying COVID-19 vaccine shipments destined for Canadians and to capture future growth opportunities in the global air cargo market. 

"Air Canada Cargo has emerged as an outstanding performer during the COVID-19 crisis and was a key player in transporting medical equipment including PPE to Canada early on," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. 

According to Guillemette, the AC cargo team swiftly re-engineered its business model and network for cargo-only flights in MAR and transformed seven wide-body aircraft to enable cargo transport in the cabin.The airline is now finalizing plans to convert several of its owned Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to freighters to fully participate in global cargo commercial opportunities. 

"These initiatives have helped solidify our ability to meet heightened demand for air cargo capacity globally and have contributed to the growth of Air Canada's successful Cargo division at an unprecedented pace," she said. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Air Canada Cargo has transported a wide range of goods on its cargo-only flights, including PPE for frontline healthcare workers. The YYZ-LIM flight carried an assortment of freight from around the world, including pharmaceuticals, water purifying equipment and vehicle parts. 

Air Canada Cargo will have a central role to play in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Canada and worldwide, the company said, adding that it has been working closely with partners, training staff and upgrading its facilities to prepare for the monumental dispatch. In JUL, it also achieved IATA's CEIV Pharma certification, which prepares companies to meet the unprecedented challenge of distributing a COVID-19 vaccines.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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