FedEx logs flights to Nanaimo

Nanaimo Airport will soon be celebrating the arrival of another air carrier.

FedEx announced Thursday that it will start flying cargo out of Nanaimo Airport in early February.

The Nanaimo daily flights are part of the company’s investment in facilities and flight service upgrades across Western Canada.

Until now, the company trucked shipments to and from the Island to its transfer station on the Lower Mainland.

Direct flights will benefit businesses and online shoppers across the Island.

“We see an opportunity to enhance our services with our customers by flying our shipments in and allowing for earlier and later pick-up and drop-off windows,” said James Anderson, FedEx spokesman.

The company is keeping the amount of business it anticipates from the Island – in terms of cargo volume and revenue – and the reasons behind starting the service close to its vest, but the aircraft assigned to inaugurate the service will be a relatively small Cessna 208 Caravan.

Anderson said whenever FedEx invests in a regional market, it looks at its prospects for growth over the coming 20 years.

“We’ve made a series of investments, not just in Western Canada, but across Canada, in  very strategic locations where the economic conditions and the state of the economy is emerging and we see the prospect for us to grow in that market,” Anderson said. “That’s the motivator for us to be coming to Nanaimo.”

The Cessna Caravan is a small aircraft compared to the company’s large jet air freighters, but still a significant investment for the company, Anderson said.

“There’s a lot of operations around it and we’re in the development of providing infrastructure for that, so it’s certainly not anything we take lightly,” he said.

The service will start with one flight in and one flight out Nanaimo Airport per day.

Air Canada Regional Airlines, DHL Courier, Dynamex Courier and Purolator Courier are also listed on Nanaimo Airport’s website as air cargo handlers at the airport.

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