MONTREAL – Air Canada has hired a new head for its cargo business. Jason Berry will join the company in the new year as vice-president, cargo. He replaces Tim Strauss who left the carrier in August to join Miami-based cargo carrier Amerijet as CEO.
Berry will be based at Air Canada’s Montreal headquarters, and will report directly to Lucie Guillemette, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer.
Berry arrives as the airline’s cargo business is adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously only a bellyhold cargo carrier, Air Canada has now operated more than 3,500 all-cargo flights globally. It airline is also finalizing plans to convert several of its owned Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to freighters.
Key to the new cargo gambit, AC has also amended its contract with pilots to operate dedicated cargo aircraft.
“Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo have pivoted quickly to new and unique commercial opportunities in response to evolving market conditions over the past 11 months, and Air Canada was the first airline globally to transform aircraft and double freight capacity by removing seats to enable cargo transport in the passenger cabin. We now operate up to 100 international, all-cargo flights weekly,” said Guillemette.
Joins from Alaska Airlines
Berry comes to Air Canada from Alaska Airlines’ wholly owned subsidiary McGee Air Services, where he was president. There he oversaw all aspects of aviation services, ground handling, aircraft grooming, airport mobility services, check-in and gate services. From 2012 until June 2019, he led Alaska Airlines’ cargo business, with direct responsibility for all aspects of cargo operations and compliance, including revenue growth.
Berry earned an MBA from the University of Washington and holds two undergraduate degrees.
“Jason’s entrepreneurial approach combined with his solid air cargo background is well-suited to operationalize commercial opportunities, and lead the strategic direction of our cargo business to optimize the growth of e-commerce while leveraging Air Canada’s fleet and global reach,” concluded Guillemette.