WestJet extends deal with Jettainer

Canadian freight carrier WestJet Cargo has agreed a long-term extension to its deal with Germany-based ULD management services provider Jettainer. The partnership between the two dates back to 2015.

The contract extension was announced at the air cargo Europe exhibition being held this week in Munich.

Over the coming years, Jettainer will continue to manage and maintain WestJet’s entire ULD fleet, providing additional maindeck containers as the airline builds up its all-new freighter services.

Calgary, Alberta-headquartered WestJet currently operates a Boeing passenger aircraft fleet of more than 100 737-700, 737-800, 737 MAX 8 and 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft but this year will see a significant expansion to its cargo operations with the addition of four 737-800BCFs to its fleet.

Three of those Boeing Converted Freighters have already entered service, and the fourth aircraft is to join in the fleet due course.

Late April saw the successful first freighter operations in WestJet’s airline history. They will only be the start of a rapid expansion in a network of dedicated cargo services, ones that will complement the carrier’s longstanding and extensive bellyhold freight operations.

Its customers will benefit not only from WestJet Cargo’s additional freight capacity, but also from new connections that are to be offered between Canada and the Caribbean, Europe, Japan and the US.

Specialised cargo services will be offered. For example, WestJet Cargo is hoping to tap into the ever-growing e-commerce business, along with the shipping of valuable commodities such as perishables.

Jettainer’s ULD management service for WestJet covers a fleet of more than 1,000 containers and pallets for the movement of both baggage and freight.

The container fleet consists predominantly of lightweight AKE units but these have now been complemented by freighter-specific maindeck containers.

Additional equipment as required at short notice is also being been supplied by Jettainer through its lease&fly service, a leasing service for special or standard ULDs for whenever an airline customer needs tham.

According to Jettainer, it is constantly analysing ULD requirements, movements and stock levels, and adjusting the fleet composition as necessary, thereby ensuring that it can meet WestJet’s requirements at all times.

Moreover, it added, Jettainer’s enhanced IT solution, JettWareNG, which supports greater automation and artificial intelligence (AI)-supported decision-making, is bringing additional efficiency gains.

Plus, lost ULDs can be tracked down through intelligent data analytics, while units stranded at off-airport locations for extended periods of time can also be identified.

Speaking in Munich, Kirsten De Bruijn, executive vice-president cargo for WestJet, noted that, for years, “Jettainer has been a trusted provider of ULD management services for WestJet and has continued to improve and innovate its services.”

She continued: “Even during Covid and post-pandemic, and despite high fluctuations in our ULD requirements, we could always count on Jettainer for the availability of the ULDs needed.

“Outsourcing ULD management allows us to fully focus on cargo sales, knowing that we have a competent partner taking care of our growing container and pallet needs.

“As we now launch and scale up our cargo division, Jettainer’s niche expertise will play a key role in our development,” she added.

Kothari Shailendar, managing director of Jettainer Americas Inc, observed: “Our longstanding partnership with WestJet is a prime example of how we focus on our customers’ individual needs.

“Our dedicated teams, openness to innovation, and the highest level of transparency help companies be successful in the long term.”

Jettainer and Descartes Bluetooth Low Energy
Also from air cargo Europe earlier this week came the news that Etihad Cargo had opted to use logistics software system specialist Descartes’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) container monitoring system to offer greater visibility of conditions of air cargo during the shipping process as well as insight into ULD handling processes (https://www.aircargonews.net/services/uld/etihad-cargo-improves-shipment-visibility-with-bluetooth-low-energy/).

Etihad Cargo is also making use of Jettainer’s ULD management services for what will be its Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled container fleet.

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