Companies moving products to and from western Canada are about to get a new link with China and the Asia-Pacific region after Edmonton International Airport and Air China Cargo announced Edmonton will be the carrier’s first scheduled freighter destination in Canada.
China’s flag carrier will use a high-volume capacity Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft serving Edmonton six times a week – three from Dallas and three from Shanghai. The new service starts 3 September with a Shanghai-Edmonton-Dallas-Edmonton-Shanghai routing, marking this out as Alberta’s main Asian cargo service.
“This will be the first freighter route between mainland China and the Canadian province of Alberta and is a key step in connecting two economies with high-growth momentum,” says Air China Cargo vice president, Patrick Yu. “The market demand for direct cargo services between Asia and Canada has been growing and our brand new route will help build important trade links between the two regions.”
Edmonton president and chief executive officer, Tom Ruth, adds: “Air China’s investment in Edmonton greatly expands the Edmonton metro region and Alberta’s cargo network. Our energy, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries can now ship goods more efficiently to China and the Asia Pacific region, expanding our region’s global trade reach.”
Edmonton, situated close to major highways and near the Nisku and Leduc business parks, estimates the service will generate a Canadian $31 million ($23 million) gross domestic product gain per year for the region, producing high-yield traffic and expanding cargo opportunities for all Edmonton cargo-related businesses.
It is also expected to increase the availability of Chinese consumer goods like smart phones, tablets, audio/visual components, fashion merchandise and other retail products to western Canada.
“Air China Cargo’s confidence in Edmonton as its inaugural Canadian entry market is underlined by our strong logistics and economy,” says Edmonton Mayor, Don Iveson. “This new cargo service is a game changer for the Edmonton metro region.”