Edmonton International Airport (EIA) has reported a 7% year-on-year increase in cargo volumes for the first quarter of this year, compared with the first quarter of 2019.
EIA noted that due to the Covid-19 outbreak, flight schedules are reduced, however, cargo charters are continuing to enable the movement of critical goods.
Many incoming cargo charters at EIA brought in dedicated medical cargo such as personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as e-commerce shipments.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, EIA handled three Antonov An-124 charters within 24 hours.
The AN-124 freighters were parked on multiple aprons “because they require complex logistical operations and need large maneuvering and handling areas for safety”.
Tom Ruth, president and chief executive of Edmonton International Airport, explained: “Our cargo team has been working flat out during this time of crisis to secure flights for EIA and help put our vast cargo infrastructure to good use for our community and region to keep supply chains moving.
“We’ve never hosted three Antonov flights in such a compressed period and we’re proud of how our entire cargo community has risen to this challenge.
“EIA offers several competitive advantages for cargo delivery including being the closest major North American airport to Asia via circumpolar routes, as well as close access to rail and trucking distribution systems.”
Ekaterina Andreeva, commercial director of charter cargo operations at Volga-Dnepr Airlines — operator of the An-124, commented: “We’re pleased to work with Edmonton International Airport. Their cargo team has gone above and beyond to facilitate our needs for our clients and ensure our flights are handled professionally with all essential security procedures needed and on time.
“We appreciate professional assistance provided ensuring on-time performance for our charters carrying vital PPE cargo.”