Canadian carrier Cargojet has opted against entering the Boeing 777 freighter sector, and is dropping its commitment for four converted aircraft.
The airline reached deals in October 2021 and February 2022 to purchase and convert four 777-200LRs.
It also entered an agreement in February 2022 to purchase and convert four 777-300ERs.
As a result it intended to have six 777s in its freighter fleet by the end of 2024, comprising four -200LRs and two -300ERs. The remaining pair of -300ERs would have arrived in 2025 and 2026.
The company had identified DHL as an initial customer for its 777 operations.
But Cargojet indicated last year that it was backtracking on the 777 plans, reducing capital expenditure for the four -300ERs – intended to expand international reach – as a result of “slowing global air cargo demand”.
The airline disclosed it was deferring the induction of the -300ERs and had started selling the aircraft, although two of them were substantially damaged by hail last year.
Its most recent fleet plan did not include any 777-300ERs, although it still listed four 777-200LRs in 2025.
But Cargojet says it has been exercising “caution” in the “softer economic conditions”.
“Forecasts continue to indicate that the international air cargo market will remain soft in the short to medium term and deploying [777s] into the market would not be strategically prudent,” says executive chair Ajay Virmani.
“We have decided to exit our commitments for the four remaining [777s], while continuing to flex our [Boeing 767] fleet to accommodate our organic growth strategy.”
Virmani states that the carrier has nevertheless benefited from its preparations for 777 operations.
“Cargojet has substantially completed the operational groundwork to be able to enter the  market should economic conditions change,” he says. The carrier expects to have 26 767 freighters as well as 15 757 freighters in service in 2025.
Israel Aerospace Industries had been set to convert the 777-300ERs while Mammoth Freighters had been selected for the 777-200LRs. Cargo industry publication FreightWaves reports that Jetran has acquired Cargojet’s rights to the 777-200LR conversions.