Air Canada removes passenger seats for cargo operations

Air Canada B787-9

Air Canada removes passenger seats for cargo operations. The airline is removing seats in 3 of its B777-300ER aircraft which is the largest aircraft in its fleet. One aircraft is ready with its seat removed with the second and third to be ready shortly.

Air Canada has been operating cargo flights since March 22nd. Adding to this the airline has also been operating several repatriation flights to places like Spain, Morocco, Peru, Colombia and many more.

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Expanding cargo operations

Air Canada has been operating cargo flights to help aid the global supply of essentials like many other airlines. The airline has been carrying cargo in the belly of its aircraft as it operates no freighter aircraft. Several airlines globally have been using their passenger aircraft. Airline such as Lufthansa, Etihad, Emirates and others have been doing this.

B777-300ER
Air Canada has been operating cargo flights to help aid the global supply of essentials in addition to repatriation flights. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada now has decided to remove all its seats in its wide body to maximise cargo hold. One aircraft has been converted and in service while the other two will be completed shortly.

Bringing critical medical and other vital supplies rapidly to Canada and helping distribute them across the country is imperative to combating the COVID-19 crisis. The transformation of the Boeing 777-300ERs, our largest international wide-body aircraft, doubles the capacity of each flight and will enable more goods to move more quickly,” said Tim Strauss, Vice President – Cargo at Air Canada.

Tim Strauss, Vice President of Cargo at Air Canada had said in a statement

Air Canada is using its passenger aircraft which otherwise would be parked. The airline said its engineers worked round the clock for the conversion and that Transport Canada also helped is speeding up the certification process.

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Conversion to an all cargo aircraft

Air Canada removes passenger seats for cargo operations. Three B777-300ER aircraft is being converted for this. All the three are being converted by Avianor, an aircraft maintenance and cabin integration specialist at its Montreal-Mirabel facility.

Air Canada removes passenger seats for cargo operations
Air Canada has removed all the seats in its passenger B777-300ER aircraft. Photo: Air Canada

They developed a specific engineering solution to remove 422 seats and assigned specific cargo loading zones for light weight boxes containing medical equipment and restrained with cargo nets. This was developed, produced and implemented in 6 days.

Air Canada assigned specific cargo loading zones
Special cargo loading zones have been assigned after removal of seats in the aircraft. Photo: Air Canada

All this is certified and approved by Transport Canada. By doing this it gives Air Canada additional resources for cargo transportation.

Air Canada Cargo global operation

Air Canada has been operating cargo flights around the world since March 22nd. The airline has been using its passenger aircraft for transportation of cargo. Since now it has converted 3xB777-300ER, it would add additional capacity to its cargo supply.

Air Canada B787-8 C-GHPQ

It has operated around 40 flights exclusive cargo flights since March 22nd. The airline plans to operate upto 20 cargo flights per week using the combined B777,B787 and the converted B777s. In addition to this the aircraft also operates scheduled service to London, Paris, Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

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Conclusion

Air Canada like other airlines is expanding cargo operations by converting their passenger aircraft into an all cargo aircraft to cater the global supply of essentials. In addition to making revenue by operating cargo flights its also enables the carrier to utilise the aircraft which has been grounded.

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