Monday, July 15, 2024
WestJet marks major milestone for its cargo operations

WestJet marks major milestone for its cargo operations

With the approval of Transport Canada, WestJet Cargo is ready for take off with its fleet of 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF), as it launches a dedicated cargo-only service. Three of the four freighters started operations in April, with the final aircraft joining the fleet later this year, after its conversion is successfully completed.

This was a long-awaited milestone for WestJet Cargo and its partner, the GTA Group, providing more choice for customers, competitive prices and exemplary service.

The dedicated freighters are initially set to focus service within North America, serving Calgary, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Miami. Leveraging its quick to load and fly narrow body aircraft, the 737-800 equipped with CFM56-7B engines will enable WestJet Cargo to offer greater fuel efficiency, flexibility and frequency for its customers.

WestJet Cargo’s dedicated freighter routes will further connect to the bellies of WestJet’, serving to accommodate the diverse needs of cargo customers in leveraging the airline’s expansive network.

“The path to get here has been extremely exciting, with a brand-new team and vast amounts of planning and deliverables,” Kirsten de Bruijn Executive Vice-President of WestJet Cargo, said.

“The process has provided so many opportunities to learn and grow and really enabled us to set a strong foundation for our freighter business,” she continued.

“This is a really electric year for everyone at WestJet Cargo. Our team is super passionate, and I’m constantly impressed with the innovative and creative attitude the team is showing ,” the WestJet executive added.

READ: Jettainer and WestJet Cargo continuing successful partnership

Creative and agile

WestJet Cargo already carries a broad range of commodities, and the freighter service will help to expand this portfolio. The carrier will continue to fly commodities like perishables, e-commerce and live animals, while the freighters will enable it to carry oversized items and unitised e-commerce containers.

The Canadian market has long been underserved with air cargo capacity. In this context, WestJet believes the country has room for its operations.

With a team of highly flexible, agile and out-of-the-box thinkers, WestJet Cargo is putting forward a specialised focus on exceptional customer service. Its brand and product are designed to bring something fresh, innovative and exciting to the market.

READ: WestJet Cargo: Passion and dedication are in the air

Digitalisation in mind

WestJet Cargo and SmartKargo recently announced the successful launch of their state-of-the-art cargo management platform. This partnership aims to transform the airline’s cargo business, moving it into a technological future.

SmartKargo has allowed WestJet to introduce a new online booking platform which significantly increased self-serve options for customers, shippers and freight forwarders.

“With a decrease in manual processes comes an increase in efficiency, allowing us to operate with a renewed customer-focus. We put a lot of effort into convenience and ease for our customers and SmartKargo plays a big part in that,” de Bruijn explained.

WestJet Cargo is heavily investing in infrastructure, digitisation, product and talent. At the same time, it is putting a significant amount of focus on internal and external tools – all with the idea that it wants to be easy to do business with.

“The WestJet Cargo teams put a lot of focus into developing relationships to best understand the markets that we serve – this will help us expand the services we offer. After the launch of the fourth tail, we’ll review our five-year strategy and continue our focus on becoming a sustainable competitor in the North American and International markets. There’s lots of potential on the horizon,” de Bruijn said.

Picture of Edward Hardy

Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on Edward.Hardy@AirCargoWeek.com

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