A mockup of the new aircraft. (Handout via WestJet)
WestJet to Acquire 737-800BCFs for Dedicated Cargo Services
CALGARY - Canadian carrier WestJet has taken a step towards their post ‘full-cost carrier conversion’ expansion.
In a statement from June, the airline announced that it would be adding an unspecified amount of Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft to it’s fleet. These are the first cargo aircraft the carrier has operated, only operating passenger aircraft in the past.
The expansion comes unexpectedly, with the airline industry collapse from the COVID-19 pandemic. WestJet dealt with countless layoffs, ending Q2 2021 with just 4 250 employees, down from the 14 000 that were employed prior to the pandemic. Combined with an inefficient refund system, the monetary loss resulted in the airline going as far as cancelling 15 737 MAX orders in March of this year.
WestJet currently runs a successful cargo sector, competing with rival Air Canada, and cargo airlines CargoJet and FedEx. The service, targeted at both civilians travelling with non-post cargo or large pets, and businesses, allows users to ship cargo in the holds of suitable aircraft for the cargo type. Frequent customers may also make an account, provided they meet WestJet’s annual spend requirement. The addition of new freight aircraft would remove the barrier of waiting for a suitable aircraft for cargo, allowing shipments to be flown when needed.
“Our new dedicated commercial cargo aircraft are a natural evolution of the competitive guest services WestJet has successfully provided over our 25-year history. It will provide cargo customers with the reliable on-time performance and competitive cost advantage synonymous with WestJet,” said Charles Duncan, WestJet’s Executive VP of Cargo. The aircraft are expected to be in service in Q2 2022.
With files from CBC News
yes i know i havent posted on the ifc since like last year but im here now ig