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September 25, 2015 | Cargo, YEG News Releases

Air China Cargo establishes first Canadian freighter service

(Edmonton, AB) – Shipping products between Western Canada and the Asia-Pacific region and Dallas-Fort Worth is now faster and more efficient through Edmonton International Airport (EIA), with Air China Cargo’s (ACC) first scheduled Canadian freighter service. Today marks the official, inaugural celebrations at EIA with ACC executives and local dignitaries.

Air China Cargo's Boeing 777F freighter began landing at EIA six times a week (three from Dallas and three from Shanghai) on Sept. 3, 2015 as part of a Shanghai-Edmonton-Dallas-Edmonton-Shanghai route. Air China Cargo is one of the top cargo carriers in the world with 175 destinations and 1 285 global truck routes.

"This first freighter route between Mainland China and Alberta is a key connection between two economies with high-growth momentum," says Patrick Yu, Air China Cargo Vice-President. "The market demand for direct cargo services between Asia and Canada has been growing, and our brand new route will help grow the economies of both regions."

With Asian investment in Alberta totalling over 30 $ billion since 2012, EIA estimates that Air China Cargo's new service will generate 31 $ million in GDP for the Edmonton Metro region. Industrial oil and gas products are now being shipped between Edmonton and Dallas. Both industrial and agricultural goods are being shipped to China, while high-end electronic products can now be shipped directly to Edmonton.

"Air China Cargo's investment in EIA greatly expands business opportunities for the Edmonton Metro region," says Tom Ruth, EIA President and CEO. "Our energy, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries can now ship goods more efficiently to China and the Asia-Pacific region, further extending our region's trade network."

Shanghai's Pudong International Airport (PVG) is the world's third largest cargo hub, with the fastest-growing cargo and mail service in the Asia-Pacific region. Shanghai Pudong International is expected to handle 60 million passengers, 4,75 million tons of cargo and 555 000 airplanes in 2015.

EIA's Cargo Village offers multi-modal transportation and logistics operations to ease the movement of products from manufacturing operations to their destination, be it on either side of the Pacific. Braden Burry Expediting has been operating at EIA since 2001 and provides a full-service logistics operation to companies looking to send their products overseas with Air China Cargo.

Texas leg vital to energy industry

The new service also substantially increases cargo capacity between Alberta and Texas, helping companies move equipment, tools and products between the two energy centres. It is the only freighter service between Alberta and Texas. Many companies in the Nisku Business Park are closely connected with companies in the large oil and gas industrial parks of Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.

Since 1994, international cargo at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has grown nearly five-fold. Asian freighters are the driving force behind this robust growth and account for more than two-thirds of DFW's international cargo.

About Air China Cargo  

Air China Cargo is one of the top cargo carriers in the world. Based on Air China's global route network, Air China Cargo has 175 global destinations. Air China Cargo has 1 285 global truck routes supplementing its air freighter network and airliner bellyhold network, quickly delivering cargo to every corner of the world.

About EIA cargo 

EIA registered its fifth consecutive year of cargo growth in 2014, with total air cargo volume up by 25 per cent over five years. EIA has invested more than 30 $ million in the Cargo Village and other cargo areas, including taxiways, land servicing and equipment. EIA’s investments combined with recent investments by third-party business partners in the airport’s cargo areas totals 100 $ million. For more information about cargo at EIA visit: www.flyeia.com/cargo


“China now places as Canada’s second largest bilateral trading partner after the United States with total two-way trade having surpassed 78 $ billion in 2014, an increase of 53 % over the last five years.

To allow this mutually-beneficial growth to continue, improved transportation links such as Air China Cargo's first scheduled Canadian freighter service are essential. The choice of Edmonton is also of strategic significance given its place at the heart of western Canada and the fact that in 2014, Canada's four westernmost provinces accounted for 68 % of total Canadian exports to China, including many value-added goods that require faster shipping routes to meet the needs of Chinese consumers."

– Guy Saint-Jacques, Ambassador of Canada to China


"Air China's new cargo service will help expand and increase trade between Alberta and two critical international markets. This substantial investment by one of the world's largest cargo carriers will help create jobs, drive growth and diversify our economy over the long-term."

– David Eggen, Minister of Culture and Tourism


"This new cargo service is transformative for the Edmonton Metro region. Air China Cargo's confidence in Edmonton, as its inaugural Canadian entry market, is underlined by not only our strong logistics and economic fundamentals, but also Edmonton International Airport's perseverance and marketing effort."

– Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson


"Just two months ago we were talking about the Edmonton International Airport and Air China Cargo partnering together to help establish Alberta as a major player in the global cargo market. Today, this partnership unfolds and will become a major contributor to the long-term economic success of the Leduc region and our province."

– Leduc County Mayor John Whaley


“This new service reinforces the strength of the Edmonton International Airport as a major cargo hub in this country.”

– Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke


"It is with great pleasure that we welcome the delegation of senior executives from Air China Cargo. Their vision and foresight is already paying off for Air China Cargo and our region. We are delighted to see the aircraft both arrive and depart Edmonton with full capacity. We have no doubt that this is the beginning of a very long and fruitful relationship with Air China Cargo."

– Brad Ferguson, President and CEO of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.