Air Canada Plans Five Additional Cargo-Only Routes

Air Canada has announced that it is planning on starting five additional cargo-only flights from June 1st. The…

Air Canada Plans Five Additional Cargo-Only Routes

Air Canada has announced that it is planning on starting five additional cargo-only flights from June 1st. The new routes, subject to government approval, will expand the airline’s cargo-only flight schedule out of Montreal.

Air Canada wants to launch five more cargo-only long-haul flights out of Montreal. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada plans five new cargo-only routes

From Montreal, Air Canada wants to add five additional cargo-only destinations:

  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Lima, Peru
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Madrid, Spain
The five new routes out of Montreal. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

In a press release, Tim Strauss, Vice President of Cargo at Air Canada, offered the following statement:

“These nonstop flights originating from Montreal to Europe and South America will enhance our global connectivity, allowing us to continue supporting the global supply chain and our freight forwarding customers”

These flights will add on to the over 1,200 cargo-only flights Air Canada has flown since the end of March. And, as demand continues to rise around the world, expect additional cargo-only operations.

The planes

In the last few months, the airline has been ramping up its cargo-only operations. Air Canada has converted four Boeing 777-300ERs and three Airbus A330-300s for cargo-only flights. Also, some Dash 8 Turboprops flying for Air Canada Jazz have also been converted for cargo-only use. These planes can carry cargo both in the hold and in the passenger cabin. Meanwhile, additional cargo-only flights are only carrying freight in the hold.

Air Canada
The airline has removed seating from some planes to carry cargo. Photo: Air Canada

Additional cargo will continue to move around on Air Canada’s passenger flights. From next month, the flag carrier is ramping up its scheduled passenger operations.

Supporting global supply chains

Normally, cargo can be transported via air around the world in two different ways. First, there are traditional freighter aircraft. And, beyond that, airlines also carry cargo in the hold. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines quickly trimmed flights leaving dedicated freighter aircraft to fly most of the cargo.

These flights have come in handy for moving vital medical supplies around. Photo: Air Canada

However, this simply was not enough. In response to the rising demand for cargo transportation, airlines started flying cargo-only flights to get cargo where it needs to go.

Air Canada has flown some critical equipment. This includes personal protective equipment and pharmaceuticals for healthcare workers, moved consumer goods around, and supporting global supply chains. Recently, Air Canada also flew thousands of queen honeybees across Canada to support crop pollination. For Mother’s Day, the airline flew in fresh flowers from Amsterdam and Israel to Canadian merchants. And, essential food supplies have also moved around via Air Canada’s system. This includes chilled beef from Australia bound for supermarkets in Canada and transporting Canadian Atlantic lobster to Asia and Europe.

Using both the hold and the cabin, Air Canada can carry thousands of pounds of additional cargo. Photo: Air Canada

Other benefits of cargo-only flights

This is also a good move for Air Canada. Through this, the airline can earn some much-needed revenue while passenger numbers remain low. In addition, airline pilots and flight attendants can also benefit. Some cargo-only flights require flight attendants in the cabin in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, all flights require pilots. This gives additional Air Canada employees the chance to go to work.

The airline is flying multiple long-haul cargo-only routes. Photo: Air Canada

At the same time, cargo demand could also aid in the resumption of passenger flights to some destinations. Where governments will allow it, Air Canada could start flying passengers where they want to and make money off of transporting the cargo.

Are there other cities that you want Air Canada to launch cargo-only flights to? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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American Airlines Will Start Alerting Passengers Booked On Busy Flights

American Airlines announced on May 27th that it would start rolling out a system to let people know…

American Airlines Will Start Alerting Passengers Booked On Busy Flights

American Airlines announced on May 27th that it would start rolling out a system to let people know if their flight is full or not. Then, if a passenger chooses, they can move to a more open flight when available without having to pay anything extra.

American Airlines is rolling out ways to notify passengers if their flights are full. Photo: Getty Images

Notifying customers

With more and more people traveling, airlines are having to deal with packed flights. In the era of social distancing, this causes a problem. In the past few months, both American and United have come under fire for flying full flights. Passengers want to see empty middle seats. However, that is not always possible.

So, for flyers who do want a little bit more space, they can take a look at some of their other options. American usually does charge if you choose to move your flight on the day of departure– unless you are booked in First Class.

American Airlines Los Angeles
Passengers will be responsible for altering their itinerary if they do not wish to fly on a busy flight. Photo: Getty Images

Most likely, this will be done via the airline’s app, the American website when passengers check-in for a flight, or else through a self-service kiosk on the ground. It does not seem that gate agents will move passengers to a different flight involuntarily.

Why American is doing this

Currently, American Airlines is selling fewer seats onboard each aircraft. This ensures that there remain some open seats for social distancing and gives gate agents and flight attendants more room to move people around– provided weight and balance is not an issue.

With passenger numbers currently down, this is not a problem for a lot of flights. Photo: Getty Images

But, if passenger numbers continue to increase, American may not be able to guarantee social distancing. This new move now gives customers additional options, so they do not end up on a busy flight. However, other flights may not be available on select routes. This is especially true for long-haul international routes or else short-haul domestic routes to secondary destinations. For connecting itineraries, however, this can become a bit of a mess for passengers.

American Airlines Dallas
Until American starts operating robust schedules, there may only be one or two itineraries that work for passengers. Photo: Getty Images

Will this attract passengers?

This move is not necessarily a promotional one to encourage people to fly American. Instead, it is just another step the airline is taking to help its customers be assured that they can travel with some sort of back-up. It will take time to roll out this measure in full. And, in all likelihood, it will not be necessary for the next couple of months as load factors remain low.

United Airlines has already announced plans for such a move. Meanwhile, Delta is maintaining that it will block middle seats and limit capacity in First Class through part of the summer– if not longer. Nevertheless, all major airlines know that soon enough, the middle seat has to come back. Or else, for passengers, fares will have to go up, thus limiting access to air travel.

Will this new move help you choose American for your travels? Do you think this is a good idea? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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