WestJet expands cargo team as 787 fleet grows

One of three 787-9s currently operated by Canada-based WestJet.

On Oct. 1, Calgary-headquartered WestJet Cargo will begin transitioning domestic cargo sales ops to a newly established in-house sales team. Previously, domestic and Canadian export sales were handled through a GSA partner.

Growth of the internal cargo team follows WestJet’s January decision to increase the visibility and expectations of its cargo division by bringing it under the “commercial” umbrella. Until last year, WestJet Cargo was part of the carrier’s “operations” unit. The move was made in parallel with the delivery of the carrier’s first three of ten 787-9 aircraft it has on order with Boeing. WestJet will continue to rely on its GSA partners for international sales in Europe and elsewhere.

Although WestJet has deep roots in cargo that have historically centered around a large fleet of narrowbody and regional aircraft, comprising of 119 737s and 47 Q-400 turboprops with just a few 767-300s, the 787s chart a course for the carrier’s further international expansion.

For now, the Canadian carrier is not considering freighters. Its widebody passenger fleet, however, will continue to grow. Next year WestJet will take delivery of three more 787-s, with four more to follow in 2021. Beyond that, the carrier has an option for up to ten more 787s.

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