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First Air’s vast and comprehensive route system serves the cargo needs of more northern communities than any other air carrier in Canada.  From small packages to bulk items, equipment and even vehicles, First Air’s versatile fleet can handle just about any cargo shipment.

With major staging points in Ottawa, Montreal, Kuujjuaq, Iqaluit, Yellowknife, Edmonton and Winnipeg, refrigeration facilities and a reliable truck-to-air network, we are well equipped to handle a wide range of cargo movement.

For a list of local First Air cargo offices, click here.

Changes to freight payments

Important notice regarding COD payments

Effective July 1st, 2015, Changes to our cash collect program have been initiated. All First Air freight charges under our former cash collect program must be paid at time and place of tender. Going forward, freight charges must be paid at time of tender (drop off) at the originating station. Shipments that are not paid for upon drop off will not be accepted for shipment or storage and no airwaybill can be issued. You can choose between three payment options:

  1. Cash Payment
  2. Credit/Debit
  3. First Air Account number. For more information regarding opening an account click the banner below:

Credit Application

Our Cargo Services

Truck-to-Air Network

You don’t need to be at a First Air shipping counter to have your cargo shipped. Here’s how it works:

  • If your package originates in a major southern Canadian centre, it can be picked-up and shipped by ground to one of our northern air staging points.
  • Your package will then be air shipped to its final northern destination.
  • Perishable products may not be shipped this method due to inadequate refrigeration facilities during truck to air handling.

Handling Methods

Choose from one of four secure and efficient cargo handling methods:

Cargo Prioritair

  • The fastest way to get your shipment there
  • A little more money, a bit less time
  • Your shipment travels on the next available flight

General Cargo

  • A little more time, but more economical
  • Delivered in up to five days (depending on flight frequencies)


  • Package delivery system up to 2.2 kg (5lbs) per package
  • Flat rates anywhere First Air flies
  • Delivered on the next available flight
  • Non-perishable, non-valuable items only

Cargo Charter

  • Intended for high volume cargo movements
  • For destinations outside of First Air network
  • When immediate timelines are critical
  • For more information see: Charter Services

How freight charges are calculated

First Air applies dimensional weight calculations to all shipments to determine if the actual or dimensional weight will be used in the calculation of charges. The greater value of the two will be applied.


DIM Calculator

Multiply, in centimetres, the length, width and height of the package and divide by 6000 to calculate dimensional weight in kilograms.

DIMS Diagrams

Declaring the Value of your shipment

When a declared value is stated on the waybill, a charge of $0.75 per $100 declared value will be charged. In the event of damage or loss, the limited liability per kilogram will therefore be increased based on the weight of the shipment and the amount declared on the waybill. (Some exceptions apply, i.e. food and carvings.)

Claims for loss or damages will only be calculated on the weight of those parts or pieces of a shipment that were lost or damaged.

If no declared value is stated on the waybill, in the event of damage or loss, the amount of liability will not exceed $1.10 per kilogram.