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New Canadian cargo airline is launched


Canada has a new cargo airline today.

The creation of national air carrier Cargojet Canada Ltd. was announced last night at a special celebration in Mississauga, Ont. and service to 12 Canadian destinations has commenced today.

The new cargo airline, evolved from Canada 3000 Cargo, will provide overnight air cargo service to Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Hamilton, Montreal (Dorval/Mirabel), Moncton, Halifax and St. John’s. With its fleet of eight aircraft it will offer in excess of 300,000 pounds of capacity each business day to major freight forwarders, couriers, manufacturers and major international airlines.

Cargojet Canada is controlled by President and CEO Ajay Virmani, past president of Canada 3000 Cargo. Virmani had purchased 50 percent of Canada 3000 Cargo last July and had kept it operating despite the demise of the passenger business of Canada 3000. With plans in hand for expansion of services as well as the rebranding of the company’s image with a new name and logo, Virmani acquired 100 percent of Canada 3000 Cargo this January, subsequently renaming it Cargojet Canada Ltd.

"Canadians can now work with a truly dedicated, national cargo carrier for all of their time sensitive cargo requirements," Virmani said. "Our overnight domestic schedule is designed to fit the needs of the cargo end user. Our schedules are not dependent upon passenger schedules, where cargo is treated as a by-product or secondary service and often only boarded on the aircraft after all passengers have been accommodated."

Additions to the ownership team include Dan Mills as executive vice president and CFO and Jamie Porteous as executive vice president of sales and service. Mills has over 15 years of experience in the industry and in 2001 was instrumental in the acquisition of Royal Cargo Inc., which Canada 3000 was using for its cargo shipments and eventually led to the creation of Cargojet Canada. Porteous also played a key role with Royal Cargo, building its revenues from a base of $25 million to $48 million.

"We have personally invested upwards of $10 million so we are committed to this," said Mills. "And it’s safe to say that there hasn’t in the past been a great deal of financial consistency in this market, certainly not what is required by customers."

Aircraft in the company fleet include four B727-200F, one B727-100F, two Beech 99s and a Metro II cargo aircraft.

Virmani said the company is considering serving U.S. destinations and may add to the size of the fleet in near future.

Annual revenues for the Mississauga-headquartered company are forecast at $65-70 million in its first year. Agreements have already been signed with 10 major partners.

Further information is available on the company’s Web site: www.cargojet.com.