Air Canada is reconfiguring the cabins of three of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to give them additional cargo capacity to combat the COVID-19 crisis, the company announced on Saturday. The first aircraft conversion is complete and is now in service, with the second and third aircraft to be completed shortly.
"The transformation of the Boeing 777-300ERs doubles the capacity of each flight and will enable more goods to move more quickly," said Tim Strauss, Vice President – Cargo at Air Canada.
"Air Canada's engineering team worked around the clock to oversee the conversion work. The next two aircraft are on track to be completed and will be in operation within the coming days," said Richard Steer, Senior Vice President, Operations at Air Canada.
The three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are being converted by Avianor, an aircraft maintenance and cabin integration specialist, at its Montreal-Mirabel facility. Avianor developed a specific engineering solution to remove 422 passenger seats and designate cargo loading zones for light weight boxes containing medical equipment and restrained with cargo nets. This modification has been developed, produced and implemented within six days.
Air Canada has operated 40 all-cargo flights since March 22 and plans to operate up to 20 all-cargo flights per week using a combination of the three newly converted Boeing 777s, Boeing 787s and Boeing 777s.