Air Canada drops plans to add 777 freighters
26 / 09 / 2023
Source: Air Canada
Air Canada has cancelled an order for two newbuild Boeing 777 freighters that were due to enter service next year.
The carrier ordered the cargo aircraft in August 2022, but has now decided to redirect spending on these freighters to passenger aircraft.
In a press release on September 25, the airline said it had placed a firm order for 18 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2025.
“The Boeing 787-10 aircraft order announced with Boeing today substitutes for a previously announced agreement to purchase two Boeing 777 freighter aircraft and, as a result, Air Canada will no longer take delivery of the two freighters,” explained Air Canada.
The airline did not provide any additional insight into why it has cancelled the order for the freighters.
But, as with most of the rest of the industry, the tough operating market has taken its toll on Air Canada’s cargo business.
Air Canada Cargo saw second-quarter 2023 operating revenues drop 24% year over year. Operating revenues in the three months ended June 30 were C$227m, down from C$299 in the same period in 2022.
Overall in 2022, the carrier registered a 15% decline in cargo revenues to C$1.3bn, due to the ending of its pax-freighter operations and lower yields.
Air Canada revived its interest in freighters during the pandemic, after deciding to focus on passenger aircraft exclusively during the 1990s.
In total, it planned to operate a fleet of 12 freighters – 10 Boeing 767Fs and two 777Fs.
Air Cargo News understands Air Canada is still focusing on converting its B767 passenger aircraft into freighters.
As of the end of the second quarter, the carrier had a fleet of six 767 freighters with another due to join by the end of the year and two more in 2024.
The date of delivery for the final 767 was not included in the latest company update.
In May, Air Canada Cargo took delivery of two newbuild Boeing 767-300Fs.
The two factory-built freighters are in addition to the eight 767-300s that are being converted for Air Canada Cargo operations.
Former vice president – Cargo Jason Berry confirmed the B777F freighters order was still in progress during an interview in November 2022.