After a six-month trial, Purolator has signed a contract for air cargo charter services with Voyageur Aviation Corp. The term of the contract is for three years, and took effect April 12, 2021.
Under the agreement, Voyageur will replace two Dash 8-100 Simplified Package Freighters (SPF) used for the trial service with two Dash 8-100 Package Freighters (PF). The Dash 8-100 PF was designed and developed by Voyageur, a North Bay, Ontario-based subsidiary of Chorus Aviation.
The Dash 8-100 PF is designed to carry a typical payload of 10,400 pounds (4,500 kilograms) and a volume of 1,380 cubic feet (39 cubic metres). This gives the aircraft the largest payload in the class of medium regional turboprops (30-40 passenger capacity) that have been converted to cargo. It is a 38 percent increase in volume capacity over the Dash 8-100 SPF.
The conversion program modifies the 37-passenger aircraft to provide a Class “E” cargo compartment. That means adding a comprehensive smoke detection system, a ventilation shut-off system, and a fire-resistant liner to meet regulatory requirements.
The aircraft’s large aft cargo door of 50 inches x 60 inches (1.27 m x 1.52 m) and low door sill height of 40 inches (1.02 m), make for ease of loading without specialized equipment. The aircraft is also equipped with reinforced cargo floor and advanced LED interior lighting system.
Other features inherent to the Dash 8-100 are excellent operating costs, short take-off and landing capabilities, and a range of up to 800 nautical miles fully laden. This make the aircraft versatile, and positions it to serve feeder networks for small package and express freight.
Ina statement, Purolator said it will gain more service options for cross-border shipments by adding the planes.
“This agreement with Voyageur complements our existing network and enhances our capability to service our cross-border business and customers with high-priority express shipments,” said Chris Spanjaard, Purolator’s senior vice-president and COO.
“We are delighted to have established this relationship with Purolator and honored they have chosen us to serve their valued customers. We have been active in air cargo through the conversion of several Dash 8 aircraft to package freighters, however, this contract with Purolator marks a meaningful step in the expansion of our capabilities in the cargo market,” said Joe Randell, president and CEO of Chorus Aviation.
“For Chorus, the air cargo market is a growing area of focus. This is another example of our integrated offering of regional services, and evidence of our ability to utilize regional assets at various life stages.”
Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus comprises Chorus Aviation Capital – a global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation. Chorus provides regional aviation support services, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.