WestJet Cargo and the GTA Group celebrated the inauguration of the first of three 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters in Toronto alongside integral business partners and key stakeholders. The event was commemorated by a ribbon cutting at WestJet’s Toronto hangar, signifying the launch of WestJet Cargo and the GTA Group’s dedicated freighter service that will fulfill the large-scale needs of businesses, freight forwarders, shippers and individual customers across North America. WestJet Cargo and the GTA Group’s Toronto celebration is the first of three inaugural events, taking place across Canada, with events in Halifax and Vancouver, to follow, respectively.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating this long-awaited milestone in Toronto, a core hub for WestJet Cargo and home of the GTA Group,” said Kirsten de Bruijn, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Cargo. “As Canada’s largest global hub, Toronto is a vital destination for our dedicated freighter operation that will enable WestJet Cargo to plug into a vast network of cargo entering the country and allow us to seamlessly execute the distribution of this cargo to its final destination across Canada.”
“Today is an exciting day for the GTA Group as we celebrate and welcome this highly anticipated moment in Toronto,” said Mario (Mauro) D’Urso, Chairman of The GTA Group of Companies.“This joint venture with WestJet Cargo will without a doubt, strengthen our position to meet the needs of the rapidly growing Canadian cargo market. “The capacity of the four dedicated freighters will bring customers new competitive options by providing more air freight capacity to cargo customers who depend on reliable and on-time performance. “We are thrilled to see these freighters take flight as we strive to provide exceptional service to all of our customers and their business needs.”
WestJet Cargo and the GTA Group’s dedicated freighters will now begin operating between its designated hubs in Halifax, Calgary, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto and Vancouver.
Integrating into the WestJet Group’s existing network, WestJet Cargo and the GTA Group’s dedicated freighters will work in tandem with the cargo carrying bellies of WestJet’s fleet, creating global connectivity and opening trade lanes between Canada and the Caribbean, Europe, Japan and the United States.
“Our incredibly talented team at WestJet Cargo is eager to disrupt Canada’s underserved air cargo market, by bringing competitive cost advantages, increased choice, reliable on-time performance and exemplary customer service,” continued de Bruijn. “Today’s celebration signifies a green light to do just that, as we strive to meet the needs of Canada’s expanding cargo market.”
In addition to the broad range of commodities already carried by WestJet Cargo such as perishables, e-commerce and live animals, the dedicated freighters have enabled a broad expansion of the carrier’s service offerings, including the capacity to carry oversized items and unitized e-commerce containers.
“It is an honour to celebrate this accomplishment amongst our key partners and stakeholders, each of whom played an important role in making today happen,” concluded de Bruijn. “The take-off of our dedicated freighters is a significant moment for Canada and the communities we serve, as we strengthen our ability to expand upon the essential products we carry across and beyond the country.”