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Cargo flight carrying medical supplies from China lands at Edmonton airport

News from CBC News – link to story and updates

‘Our cargo movements continue to grow and have never been more important,’ EIA says

CBC News · Posted: Apr 13, 2020

cargojet-flight-arrives-edmonton.JPG The Cargojet flight carrying medical supplies from Shanghai arrived early Monday morning at Edmonton International Airport. (Submitted by Edmonton International Airport)

A cargo flight loaded with medical supplies from China arrived at Edmonton’s airport early Monday morning, almost a month after the facility stopped accepting international passenger flights.

The Cargojet flight, arranged by Alberta Health Services, carried personal protective equipment for front line health-care workers and first responders in the province, according to a news release from the Edmonton International Airport.

The Boeing 767-300F left Shanghai on Sunday.

“Although our passenger movements are substantially down, our cargo movements continue to grow and have never been more important to our community,” Tom Ruth, EIA president and CEO, said in the release.

Canada has been actively seeking medical supplies — including medical masks, gowns and gloves — to ensure a stable supply as demand and profiteers overwhelm global markets. 

“Our government is working very hard on an ongoing basis to secure the personal protective equipment required to keep our health care, continuing care and seniors care workers safe,” Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu said in the release.

The PPE supplies arrived as health professionals in Canada warn that shortages could put the lives of front-line workers at risk.

On March 16, in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the federal government announced all international passenger flights arriving in Canada were restricted to one of four airports: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. 

According to the release, Edmonton is the only airport community in Canada to be certified by the International Air Transport Association to be involved with the transport of sensitive medical cargo, including pharmaceutical shipments that need strict temperature controls.

“This international designation ensures EIA will continue prospering as a global-scale gateway that will welcome future medical supply flights as well as other essential, time sensitive products,” the release said.

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AEI to Provide KF Aerospace with Three B737-400SF Freighter Conversions

From Aeronautical Engineers, Inc.

April 14th, 2020 – Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) is pleased to announce a deal providing Canadian-based KF Aerospace with three B737-400SF freighter conversions.

Timing for the total program completion is still being finalized, however, one aircraft (MSN 24769) is scheduled to commence modification in May 2020. The modifications are being performed by KF Aerospace’s Kelowna facility, which is an authorized AEI Conversion Center.

AEI-B737-400-conversion.png Credit to Air Cargo News

AEI continues to see strong demand for its Classic 737 program, namely with the -400SF series, of which 7 freighters have been announced this year.
AEI’s B737-400SF shall provide KF Aerospace with a highly flexible Ancra CLS capable of carrying multiple ULD’s including:

  • (10) 88”x125” ULDs in P1 to P10 or
  • (8) 96”x125” in P1 to P10 and
  • (1) 53”x88”x64” Pallet or AEP/AEH or 60.4”x61.5” AKE/LD3 or 61.5”x88”x56”H AYY in P11

This unique flexibility has been designed by AEI to allow cargo operators to immediately adapt to multiple ULD configurations at a moment’s notice. When combined with proven reliability, the AEI Converted B737-400SF will allow KF Aerospace to keep their aircraft – “In the air, generating revenue”.

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18 minutes ago, Geminoid said:

Does anyone know?  Are the Air Canada cargo flights operating to/from Shanghai via Narita operating as revenue flights?   Or are they humanitarian flights?

Is there a difference? I mean, AC gets paid either way, no? I’m assuming a “humanitarian” flight is financed by the Canadian government, it’s not a charitable donation from Air Canada.

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I believe all these cargo flights are revenue driven.  they are hauling the equivalent cargo that would have been moved on regular scheduled flights.  


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2 hours ago, boestar said:

I believe all these cargo flights are revenue driven.  they are hauling the equivalent cargo that would have been moved on regular scheduled flights.  


As they should be.  Not sure why anyone would expect AirCanada to foot any expense or indeed not to make some profit. 

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32 minutes ago, Marshall said:

As they should be.  Not sure why anyone would expect AirCanada to foot any expense or indeed make some profit. 

Not sure how to read this post.  Are you suggesting AC should not profit from these flights ???

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Again.  This is cargo that would move in the belly of the planes on a much greater frequency and probably even more because AC is probably only one of a few doing this kind of thing.  Same Freight different schedule



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1 hour ago, AIP said:

Not sure how to read this post.  Are you suggesting AC should not profit from these flights ???

Forgot one word.  See correction.

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Jazz Aviation to be First Operator of Dash 8-400 Aircraft Simplified Package Freighter Developed by De Havilland Canada

From De Havilland Aircraft of Canada 

  • Re-configuration of aircraft approved by Transport Canada to support airlift of freight during COVID-19 pandemic

TORONTO, April 23, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) and Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) announced today that Jazz will be the first operator for the recently approved Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter. Under the agreement, Jazz has ordered the Service Bulletin and conversion kits for up to 13 Dash 8-400 aircraft. De Havilland Canada will be the exclusive supplier of all future Dash 8-400 aircraft Simplified Package Freighter modifications for Jazz’s fleet.

“We are delighted to be the first operator for the Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter and congratulate De Havilland Canada and Transport Canada on offering this sound solution,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz Aviation LP.  “This innovative opportunity will allow us to redeploy aircraft while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer – Air Canada – and the delivery of essential cargo.”

“The reconfiguration of Dash 8-400 aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters can be quickly achieved by the removal of seats and seat track covers in the passenger cabin. The reconfiguration, which includes the use of up to 17 nets will provide a potential total payload of up to 17,960 lb. and a total cargo volume of up to 1,150 cubic feet per aircraft,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “We will work with Jazz to quickly put their Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighters into service and look forward to supplying this solution to other Dash 8-400 aircraft operators around the world to assist in the re-deployment of their fleets to meet the growing demand for airlift of essential supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

Jazz Aviation and Air Canada Cargo to be First to Operate Routes with Dash 8-400 Aircraft Simplified Package Freighter Developed by De Havilland Canada

From Air Canada

Jazz Aviation and Air Canada Cargo to be First to Operate Routes with Dash 8-400 Aircraft Simplified Package Freighter Developed by De Havilland Canada

  • Re-configured aircraft can carry a total of 18,000 lbs [8,165 kg] cargo in cabin and belly
  • Enables transport of critical supplies to regional Canadian communities

HALIFAX and MONTREAL, April 24, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (“Chorus”) and its subsidiary Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) announced today that Jazz and Air Canada, through its freight division Air Canada Cargo, will begin operating the recently approved Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter developed by De Havilland Canada to short and medium haul markets under the Air Canada Express banner. These reconfigured aircraft will carry a total of 18,000 lbs [8,165 kg] of cargo in the passenger cabin and belly.


“De Havilland Canada’s Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter will allow us to redeploy aircraft, while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer, Air Canada, in the delivery of essential cargo,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz Aviation LP.  

“This aircraft will allow us to provide critical cargo lift on short and medium-haul routes that have been impacted by the reduction of passenger flights,” said Tim Strauss, Vice-President Air Canada Cargo. “The converted cabin, which can accommodate a cargo volume of 1,150 cubic feet is perfectly suited to loose load cargo like medical supplies, PPE and other goods needed to support the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”

Under an agreement with De Havilland Canada, Jazz has ordered a Service Bulletin and conversion kit that will be applied to the first of 13 select Dash 8-400 aircraft. De Havilland Canada will be the exclusive supplier of all future Dash 8-400 aircraft Simplified Package Freighter modifications for Jazz’s fleet. 

To facilitate the cargo-only flights, Air Canada Cargo has created five, segment-specific sales teams to focus on the unique needs of customers at different levels in the supply chain. Enquiries from shippers interested in Air Canada Cargo’s services may be sent to a special freighter email address that is monitored 24 hours per day: AC.freighter@aircanada.ca.


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Cargojet soars as e-commerce shipments get a lift from COVID-19 lockdowns

Thu Apr 23, 2020 - The Globe and Mail
Matt Lundy - Economics Reporter

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to squeeze corporate Canada, Cargojet Inc. has emerged as an outlier: Business is strong, the cargo airline is hiring and it is paying $100-a-day raises to staff.

Headquartered in Mississauga, Cargojet controls more than 80 per cent of Canada’s priority air cargo market. In contrast to hard-hit passenger airlines, Cargojet is capitalizing on a surge in e-commerce demand as families turn to online shopping while hunkering down at home.

Investors have taken notice: Cargojet’s shares have rebounded beyond their prepandemic peak and closed Thursday at a record $129.74 apiece, giving the company a stock market value of about $2-billion. Since hitting a recent bottom on March 18, when equity markets broadly sold off as the novel coronavirus spread in North America and Europe, Cargojet’s stock has rallied 72 per cent.

“People who are in the e-commerce business are certainly trending upwards right now,” chief executive Ajay Virmani said. “That’s the intent, because we don’t want people going out to stores” during the pandemic, he added.

For years, investors have viewed Cargojet as a unique Canadian play on the rise of e-commerce. With its main hub at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, most of the airline’s revenue is derived from a domestic network of overnight cargo shipments between 14 Canadian cities. Its largest clients include Amazon.com Inc., Canada Post Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc.

E-commerce was expanding before the COVID-19 pandemic, but there was plenty of evidence to suggest Canadians have been slow to embrace digital shopping.

In 2019, e-commerce spending in Canada increased by 32 per cent to $2.6-billion, yet still accounted for less than 5 per cent of total retail sales, according to Statistics Canada data. The Statscan figures are incomplete – for instance, they don’t include common digital transactions such as flight bookings. Even so, analysts say Canada lagged the United States and China.

“We have a lot of catching up to do,” Mr. Virmani said.

As physical-distancing measures drag on, there are mounting signs the pandemic is accelerating the shift to e-commerce. Statscan recently noted that online retailing was one of the few areas where economic activity is expanding.

Cargojet has been a big beneficiary. In a client note last week, Canaccord Genuity analysts said Cargojet had seen a 15 per cent to 20 per cent “spike” in business-to-consumer volumes since mid-March, “driven by increased use of Amazon and other e-commerce traffic.”

Mr. Virmani said higher consumer shipments have more than offset declines in business-to-business traffic. "The overall trend is up,” he said.

“Cargojet is unique amongst Canadian aerospace names in that the impact of COVID-19 has positive implications that are offsetting the broader economic slowdown,” the Canaccord analysts wrote.

“We do not see anything about the current environment that is likely to impact Cargojet’s enviable competitive positioning, virtual monopoly of the overnight air cargo market, and exposure to secular e-commerce trends that will continue to support growth in the years ahead.”

Mr. Virmani said total volumes have slowed in recent days, but that could be because households stocked up during the initial weeks of the pandemic, and because online retailers are either struggling to fill orders or placing a higher priority on essential goods.

But he said Cargojet has added about 100 employees – including roughly 40 pilots recently laid off by other airlines – to ensure operations run smoothly. And the company is doling out the temporary $100 daily raises to its entire work force.

It would be difficult to disrupt Cargojet’s dominance of Canadian air freight, analysts say, given the substantial investments needed to build a competing network, and foreign-ownership restrictions that prevent big global players from invading the market.

“Canada isn’t a dense enough market for everyone to efficiently run their own freight operation,” said Chris Murray, an AltaCorp Capital analyst who covers the company. “So what’s happened over time is everyone’s found the best and most efficient way to do it is to actually give their business, or do a contract, with Cargojet.”

Mr. Virmani acknowledged the company is not insulated from broader forces weighing on Canada’s economy.

“We can only be good as long as there is buying power and people have money to spend,” Mr. Virmani said. “We’re not immune to the recession or depression – whatever you want to call it – but I think we have quite a better chance of survival than a lot of other companies.”



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32 minutes ago, Cargoagent said:

There is a tech stop at LAX,For this routing. This is one of several YYZ-LAX-SYD flights I’ve seen in the last week. The AC Cargo sales team seem to be doing a good job in finding whatever business is available. 

It’s non-stop coming back, SYD-YYZ.  About 16:10 air time.

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World’s biggest cargo plane to ship Chinese PPE to Quebec

Mon Apr 27, 2020 - The Globe and Mail
Steven Chase

The cargo specialists arranging a massive shipment of personal protective equipment from China for the Quebec government have turned to the world’s biggest aircraft to carry the load.

The Soviet-era Antonov AN-225 is scheduled to carry what will be the largest single delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Canada later this week to Montreal’s Mirabel Airport. The most recent flight plan calls for the huge aircraft to land on Thursday night.

Much of the freight is expected to be medical gowns that be can be used by health care workers.

Quebec’s gear is taking a different route from some other shipments chartered by the federal government and provinces. The plane will pick up the PPE in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin rather than Shanghai. The Tianjin airport is the only one where the AN-225, which weighs more than 285 tonnes and has a wingspan of more than 88 metres, is allowed to land in China.

The AN-225 is a one-of-a-kind plane. The world’s largest operational cargo aircraft, it’s owned by Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines and modeled on an aircraft that carried the Soviet/Russian space shuttle Buran.

PPE tends to be light but bulky, and the Antonov can carry 1,100 cubic metres, several times what conventional aircraft can accommodate.

The Quebec government on Monday declined to comment on this airlift, saying it did not make the logistics decisions.

Montreal-based Nolinor Aviation is the company Quebec contracted to ship the PPE. Nolinor in turn contracted with Toronto-based Momentum Solutions, a logistics and air charter provider, which secured the AN-225.

Vincent Dufort, sales director for Nolinor, said it’s very challenging to find reliable transport from China these days, and his company contracted with Momentum Solutions because they have worked together in the past and trust them.

Stephen Arbib, chief executive officer of Momentum Solutions, said using the massive AN-225 helps reduce the cost of each unit of shipping medical gear to half or less than half of what it might cost to ship by conventional aircraft because it can carry more.

Mr. Arbib said using a Ukrainian-flagged aircraft is helpful when shipping out of China because friction between Canada and China can cause difficulty for Canadian aircraft operators. “Unfortunately, with the political climate between Canada and China, being a Canadian operator isn’t always the most accepted operator.”

Momentum Solutions played a key role in bringing Canadians home from Wuhan, China, earlier this year, and has worked for the United Nations, other non-governmental organizations and foreign governments.

Antonov Airlines has used the AN-225 to deliver PPE to Poland and Germany and France.

In China, crushing demand for masks and other protective equipment has created delays and stressed the logistics system. Shanghai Pudong International Airport has become a key centre for dispatching supplies from factories to other countries. Already the world’s third-busiest cargo hub, it has been stretched in ways never before seen. The number of cargo flights is more than double last year’s, including 329 flights on April 17, the highest daily tally in airport history.

China late last week tightened restrictions on exports of masks and other PPE, requiring shipments to be subjected to a mandatory customs inspection.

The regulations follow highly publicized complaints from some foreign governments and hospitals that they received PPE from China that they considered faulty. The Canadian government reported last week that one million N95-type masks it purchased from China were substandard.



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VIRGIN ATLANTIC ANNOUNCES OVER 90 CARGO-ONLY FLIGHTS A WEEK IN MAY • Scheduled cargo-only services to the US, Hong Kong and China, India, Israel and South Africa • First-ever cargo-only flights from Dublin to London with same day connections to New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tel Aviv and Johannesburg • Twice-weekly flights relaunched to Mumbai • Additional aircraft available for exclusive cargo charters

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15 hours ago, Marshall said:

La Presse had an interesting little feature yesterday on how the freighter conversion project came about - some AC Cargo and Avionair people at a lower or mid-level talked about it - it doesn't say how the conversation came about - and the Avionair people took it to their CEO, who called AC senior management with the idea of a formal temporary conversion - rather than doing what many airlines are doing (covering seats and piling some packages on top of them). AC and Avionair reached agreement within hours, and a number of Avionair engineers who were going on layoff were kept on, working remotely, on the floor design, load management criteria, sharing info with AC engineering. Work on the conversion takes just a few days.

Avionair now has converted four 777-300ERs, and is converting four A330-300s. for AC. It has also pitched its fast change concept to almost two dozen foreign airlines and is negotiating with some of them to do some conversions at its Mirabel facility.

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