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Massive cargo plane touches down at YYC for first time

WATCH ABOVE: The airport says it’s not just an aircraft, but an economic “pipeline” worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the city and the rest of the province.Doug Vassen has more.

CALGARY- For the first time in six years, a Cathay Pacific Cargo air plane landed at Calgary International Airport.

The Boeing 747-8 aircraft is 225-feet long and can carry 120 tonnes.

The freighter service will operate direct from Hong Kong to Calgary twice-weekly, with the potential to increase flights in the future.

With the addition flight, YYC becomes one of only two Canadian airports to offer cargo service to both Europe and Asia.

James Woodrow with Cathay Pacific Airways believes this will increase the trade line between China and Alberta.

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“Clearly a growth market oil and gas sector is obviously very important here,” he said, “but also taking meat products hopefully into Asia.”

Currently, Alberta does roughly $3 billion in trade with Asia. It’s estimated that the new cargo service will bring in millions.

“We think this will really help generate more business for Alberta and for Calgary,” explained Woodrow. “We’re looking forward to working with the community to make this a great success.”

China is Alberta’s second largest trading partner.

Cathay is also considering the prospect of adding a passenger service between Calgary and Hong Kong in the future.