moncton airport expansion

The Greater Moncton International Airport opened its expanded runway last fall. The longer runway is intended to help lure larger airplanes, such as the C.A.L. cargo flight that is expected to land in Moncton over the weekend. (Vanessa Blanch/CBC)

The Greater Moncton International Airport has landed a new contract with C.A.L., which will see the Israeli company begin flying from Belgium to Moncton this weekend.

C.A.L. flies two 747 cargo jets and according to the company's website its main routes are between Tel Aviv, Belgium and New York.

One of those airplanes will land at the Moncton airport starting on Sunday.

Both the airline and the airport have confirmed the flight is planned.

However, they say they are still working on getting permission to land in Canada from the federal government.

The airline and airport are both refusing to grant interviews on the new partnership until that has been finalized.

The C.A.L. website says it specializes in exporting fresh Israeli agricultural products. It also imports automobiles, livestock and hazardous materials from all over the world to Israel.

Cargo hub dreams

The Moncton airport has long sought to become an Atlantic cargo hub.

It is almost two years to the day from the last time the airport tried to get a big jet to link up New Brunswick with Europe.

The last experiment was with Cargojet, which was supposed to ship live lobster to Europe.

The airport subsidized that flight for $400,000 but it lasted only eight weeks before the airport got tired of losing money.

The new arrangement with C.A.L. may be more successful than the Cargojet experiment.

This time, the airport has a new $24-million, 3,048-metre (10,000-foot) runway, which was finished last fall.

The new runway allows Moncton to handle the larger cargo jets.

According to the Moncton airport's 2012 annual report, 22,832 metric tonnes of cargo came through the airport in that year compared to 22,760 metric tonnes in 2011.