WestJet freighters set for takeoff following conversion approval
20 / 03 / 2023
Image source: WestJet Cargo
Transport Canada has certified WestJet’s four B737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters meaning the airline can now launch all-cargo operations.
Until now, the airline has been unable to use its freighters as Boeing awaited certification of its conversion programme.
Now that approval has been given, WestJet Cargo and partner GTA Group will “expeditiously implement three freighters into service” with the first flight expected on April 22.
The fourth of WestJet Cargo’s freighters is expected to join the fleet later this year following the completion of its conversion.
Customers will be able to begin booking space on the aircraft from April 1.
“Today is a long-awaited milestone for WestJet Cargo and the GTA Group, that will now enable us to disrupt the air cargo industry in Canada by providing our customers with more choice, competitive prices and the exemplary customer service synonymous with the WestJet brand, but unique to the air cargo industry,” said Kirsten de Bruijn, WestJet executive vice president, Cargo.
“We thank Transport Canada for its dedication to certifying these aircraft, which will serve to better support Canada’s national transportation supply chain through increased competition and capacity within Canada’s air cargo market.”
The dedicated freighters will initially focus on services within North America, covering Calgary, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Miami.
The GTA Group will be selling and managing freighter capacity along with the airline.
“Today is an exciting day for the GTA Group as we celebrate this highly anticipated moment that will bring our partnership with WestJet Cargo to new heights,” said Mario D’Urso, chairman of the GTA Group of Companies. “Through the capacity of these four dedicated freighters, we are now in an excellent position to meet the needs of the rapidly growing Canadian cargo market.”
WestJet took delivery of the first of its freighters in April 2022. It had been hoping to have its freighters in service by the end of 2022.