Cargojet shifts aircraft to handle domestic surge in essential supplies

A large white jet on descent to land.

Canadian air-cargo provider Cargojet [TSX: CJT] said it is redeploying aircraft currently serving international scheduled and charter routes to its North American network to support increased volumes for e-commerce, and healthcare and essential supplies as the coronavirus outbreak changes supply chain needs.

Cargojet operates a domestic overnight network for and express delivery companies, with its airplanes also carrying interline traffic from international airlines. It operates a fleet of 26 wide-body aircraft.

The Ontario-based carrier also said it will run more daytime flights if volumes exceed the capacity of its overnight network on certain routes. “We are well equipped and planning to handle any surge in volumes should that be necessary by adjusting schedules and routes,” it assured customers in a news release.

The airline is also taking other steps to keep goods flowing.

It is providing employees a temporary daily cash allowance to alleviate unexpected child care needs due to school closures, higher prices of daily essentials, grocery shortages and other costs. The assistance is designed to let workers focus on their delivery assignments.

Cargojet said its staff is in daily contact with key customers to ensure there are enough resources to meet their service levels during a period of peak demand.

The company also has increased health checks at each of its facilities and is following enhanced sanitizing and disinfecting procedures for aircraft, cargo containers, packages and facilities.

It also is making sure that deliveries continue to northern communities, some of which are only accessible by air and may be less able to restock supplies as passenger carriers have curtailed flights.

On Wednesday, Air Canada announced it was shrinking its network further because of falling traveler demand.

In related news, Alaska Air Cargo reminded customers to be aware that operating hours are changing at many locations for drop off and pick up because airlines have reduced flight schedules in response to the coronavirus outbreak.