Air Transat Sells ULD Containers to Unitpool, Signs for Five More Years

One of the laurels that a 3rd party asset manager can offer to a prospective client is to purchase the existing asset pool and offer services on a per-trip basis, thus allowing the client to liquidate its assets and reduce its asset management burden.

Case in point, earlier this year, global Unit Load Device (ULD) supply and management provider Unitpool, a Brambles company, signed a second five-year agreement with Air Transat, a subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc., an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries that distributes products in over 50 countries and is one of Canada’s largest airlines.

Under the first five-year agreement, Air Transat sold its aging fleet of Unit Load Devices (ULDs) and transferred all ULD management activities to Unitpool. During those five years, Air Transat focussed on growing its business while Unitpool managed the supply of ULDs.

Over the next five-year term, in addition to continuing to provide ULD management services to Air Transat, Unitpool will be managing the transition of Air Transat’s ULD fleet from aluminium LD3 containers to an all-lightweight LD3 fleet. The transition, which began for Air Transat on March 1, will be completed within the next 12 months. The use of lightweight ULDs will generate substantial savings in fuel costs for Air Transat over the course of the agreement, and a reduced carbon footprint. Air Transat was recently ranked first in the world in the long-haul category according to a new environmental performance indicator called Atmosfair Airline Index.

Air Transat Senior Vice President, Jon Turner, said: “In recent years we have made extensive efforts to improve our environmental performance across all areas of the company: fleet, administrative offices, aircraft maintenance, etc. The renewal of our contract with Unitpool is in keeping with our desire to do more, and do better, when it comes to sustainable development, because their know-how will help reduce weight on our aircraft.”

Unitpool Head of Key Account Management, Lou Cordoba, said: “Air Transat is the first of our customers to make the transition to lightweight LD3 containers, and we look forward to more customers following suit. This transition with Air Transat will push forward the increase of the lightweight AKE in our fleet, or ZKE as we call them to differentiate them from the aluminium units. Air Transat is one of our long-standing customers. We are thrilled to have retained them and that they have elected to trigger the lightweight option.”

Unitpool already has more than 600 lightweight AKEs within its fleet of 40,000 ULDs.

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