Times Colonist

Air Canada looks to grow cargo busi­ness

- Business · Airlines · Transportation · Canada News · Industries · Vince Carter · Montreal · Boeing · Bogota · Lima · Amsterdam · Dublin · Madrid · American Airlines · United Airlines

MON­TREAL — Air Canada pi­lots have rat­i­fied changes to their con­tract that will help the car­rier grow its cargo busi­ness as air­lines scram­ble to min­i­mize the pan­demic’s toll on their bot­tom lines. The Mon­treal-based air­line said Fri­day that it would con­vert sev­eral of its re­tired Boe­ing 767 air­craft to carry freight and that it had ap­pointed a new ex­ec­u­tive, Ja­son Berry, to over­see its cargo di­vi­sion.

“Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo have piv­oted quickly to new and unique com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties in re­sponse to evolv­ing mar­ket con­di­tions over the past 11 months,” said Lu­cie Guillemett­e, Air Canada’s ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent and chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer.

The air­line has looked to cargo as a po­ten­tial op­por­tu­nity in an oth­er­wise bleak year.

In May, Air Canada an­nounced it was adding flights to Bo­gota, Lima, Am­s­ter­dam, Dublin and Madrid to its cargo ser­vice, which in­cludes up to 100 in­ter­na­tional all-cargo flights per week.

With fewer flights, and less cargo be­ing trans­ported in the lug­gage com­part­ments of pas­sen­ger air­craft, the price of ship­ping cargo by air has in­creased. Other air­lines such as Amer­i­can Air­lines and United Air­lines, have be­gun oper­at­ing cargo-only flights this year, hop­ing to use the op­por­tu­nity to stem their losses.

Air Canada said the con­tract changes will help it op­er­ate more com­pet­i­tively in the cargo busi­ness. Michael McKay, chair­man of the Air Canada Pi­lots As­so­ci­a­tion’s master elected coun­cil, said the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s mem­bers voted on the re­vised agree­ment this month.

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