Air China Cargo has selected Edmonton International Airport as its first scheduled freight destination in Canada. Alongside serving it from Shanghai, the Chinese carrier will fly from the Alberta gateway to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, linking the two key key oil-producing markets.
The new three times weekly schedule will commence from September 3, 2015 and will be operated using Boeing 777-200LRF full-freighter equipment. The extra tag to Dallas will mean that Edmonton will welcome six Air China Cargo flights every week.
The flight will open up new more efficient import and export opportunities for local, national and international companies moving products to and from Western Canada. Edmonton is Canada's fifth-largest municipality and the capital of the state of Alberta is a key hub for the country’s oil and natural gas industry, with the city is known as ‘the oil capital of Canada’.
“This will be the first freighter route between Mainland China and Alberta, and is a key step in connecting two economies with high-growth momentum,” says Patrick Yu, vice president, Air China Cargo. “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.”
With Asia’s ascendance as a global economic powerhouse and Asian investment in Alberta totalling over $30 billion since 2012, establishing the Air China Cargo service will help advance the Edmonton Metro region’s long-term economic prosperity.
“Air China Cargo’s investment in EIA greatly expands the Edmonton Metro region and Alberta’s cargo network,” 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, expanding our region’s global trade reach.”
The service will also likely bring many consumer goods like smart phones, tablets, audio/visual components, fashion merchandise and many other retail products to Edmonton and wider Canadian market from China.
Data from Edmonton International Airport estimates that this service will generate a $31 million GDP gain per year for the region and the airport’s proximity to Nisku Business Park and Leduc Business Park will likely support high-yield traffic, expanding cargo opportunities for other cargo-related businesses at the airport.
"This new cargo service is a game changer for the Edmonton Metro region," said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. "Air China Cargo's confidence in Edmonton, as its inaugural Canadian entry market, is underlined by our strong logistics and economic fundamentals."
Edmonton International airport has been working alongside the City of Edmonton, Leduc County and the City of Leduc to prioritise the development of trade with Asia. With the support of many partners, this service represents a huge boost to developing Western Canada’s trade ties with the Asia-Pacific region.
“This new service solidifies Edmonton International Airport as a key cargo hub in Canada,” said Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke, while his Leduc County counterpart Mayor John Whaley said the link will “open the gateway to our region and help Alberta firmly establish its logistic and economic roots in the global cargo market.”
China and the Asia-Pacific region hold tremendous opportunities for Canadian exporters and businesses need a strong transportation network and reliable supply chains in order to take advantage of these opportunities. The growth of both passenger and cargo services through local airports such Edmonton International Airport help to strengthen these links and increase trade.
Alongside the links in and out of mainland China, the new service also substantially increases cargo capacity between Alberta and Texas, helping local companies move equipment, tools and products between the two energy centres. In fact it will be the only freighter service between Alberta and Texas.
Last year, Edmonton International Airport registered its fifth consecutive year of cargo growth with total air cargo volume up by 25 per cent over the five year period. The airport has invested more than $30 million in the Cargo Village and other cargo areas, including taxiways, land servicing and equipment, while combined with recent investments by third-party business partners the investment in the airport’s cargo area totals $100 million.