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WestJet Cargo heading for cruising altitude in 2024

Monday, February 19, 2024/ Editor -  

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Following an intense implementation itinerary in 2023, which included the successful launch of WestJet Cargo's first freighter fleet alongside rapid company and network growth, the cargo carrier cites partnerships, product portfolio, and digital enhancements as its three focus areas for an equally energy-driven 2024.

WestJet Cargo starts the year on a solid basis – the result of an outstanding 2023 centred on deploying the airline's first freighter fleet and building a strong team of cargo experts. 22 new colleagues joined during the course of last year, as WestJet Cargo opened 24 warehouses, 14 freighter handling stations, and expanded its cargo network to a total of 45 very diverse destinations across the world, connecting, for example, Halifax - a smaller province in Nova Scotia, to major cities such as Paris, France, and Narita, Japan.

WestJet Cargo's freighter launch events on 22 April 2023, in Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax, set the scene for what was to come and showcased the airline's commitment to excellence. Within just 60 days of the freighter inauguration ceremonies and following its CAO certification and the implementation of a Charter Desk, WestJet Cargo successfully operated its first commercial charter flight for Air Charter Service from Halifax to Calgary in July 2023. A series of air cargo product launches, including Bike'Air and, more recently, Safe'Air, as well as strategic partnerships with industry stakeholders such as Flexport and Awesome Cargo, paved the way for the airline's journey to becoming a key player in the aviation cargo industry – and one that stands out through creativity and reliability.

'Our priority focus is on delivering reliable solutions to our customers. To achieve this, we're applying our unique corporate mindset to three main areas this year. 2024 will see WestJet Cargo continue building and expanding its strategic partnerships, further diversifying its product mix, and implementing our digital roadmap with respect to online marketplaces and a new website.' says Kirsten de Bruijn, Executive Vice-President, Cargo at WestJet.

2024 will therefore see new destinations and routes, such as Seoul starting May 17th and a year-round service to Narita, being added through additional freighter and passenger belly cargo flights, in order to offer a comprehensive and versatile cargo network. This goes hand in hand with a continued strategic planning approach to effectively navigating market dynamics together with the right partners and strengthening WestJet Cargo's position in the global air freight sector. These include digital partnerships and the launch of a new cargo website, in anticipation of a shift towards more self-service options. Its digital innovation will also focus on solutions for enhanced efficiency and service delivery, including the possible implementation of advanced technologies within its cargo operations. Since the core element for company success in all these areas is human capital, WestJet Cargo will also continue to invest in its people, focusing on career development, diversity, and inclusion.

'In 2022, we were taxiing and, in 2023, we successfully took off as a cargo airline. WestJet Cargo has no intention of slowing down at all in 2024. We're climbing and aiming for cruising altitude on our company flight path, this year,' Kirsten de Bruijn concludes.


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