Brussels Airlines is Jettainer’s Next Coup

Unit load device (ULD) manager Jettainer has won Brussels Airlines (SN) as new client. The deal becomes effective in the second quarter of 2017. Both companies announced the accord last Friday during a joint press event at Paris-held TIACA.

Jettainer’s Thorsten Riekert and Pieter Huyghens of Brussels Airlines announced the ULD accord  -  courtesy Jettainer
Jettainer’s Thorsten Riekert and Pieter Huyghens of Brussels Airlines announced the ULD accord - courtesy Jettainer

Jettainer’s client portfolio is growing constantly. This year, Belgrade-based Air Serbia and Spanish carrier Plus Ultra Lineas Aéreas handed over their ULD business to the Frankfurt-based Lufthansa offspring, followed by Brussels Airlines now.
According to the contract, Jettainer will base a local ULD controller at the Belgian carrier’s home base BRU Airport together with a ground handling support agent whose main function is to monitor all operational processes.
The equipment needed to secure the smooth flow of goods and prevent shortages at any of the stations served by SN Cargo is estimated to comprise of 1,000 ULDs that Jettainer will manage on behalf of its new client. 

Africa on the horizon
The agreement reached with the airline has a pleasant upside for the ULD manager. It secures Jettainer to gain a foothold in Africa, Brussels Airlines Cargo’s traditional backyard. The company’s Sales Director Thorsten Riekert underlined this at the press meeting: “Thanks to the many stations served by Brussels Airlines Cargo in Africa we will expand our global network substantially,” he said.
So far, this continent has largely been a white spot for the Frankfurt-headquartered services provider that not only claims to deliver clients first class service quality but benefits from the ongoing trend in the aviation industry towards outsourcing activities that are not part of the core business.

A lot of persuasion work ahead
In Africa, the Belgian carrier serves as many as 17 cities, including some very interesting ones seen from the air freight perspective, such as Dakar, Kinshasa or Lomé, to name but a few.
By getting a foot in the African door beginning next spring, Jettainer hopes to convince local operators to follow the SN example and outsource their container and pallet business. “This saves money, enhances the operational reliability and improves the service quality,” states Head of Marketing and Communication, Martin Kraemer. 
However, until convincing local African players to change their ULD philosophy by handing this business over to an external expert a lot of persuasion work will still have to be done.

Substantial spin-offs
Coming back to the deal announced in Paris last Friday, it can be assumed that Lufthansa’s forthcoming step to fully incorporate Brussels Airlines has “helped” Jettainer to replace SN’s former partner CHEP and gain the airline as new client. Be it as it may, Pieter Huyghens, Cargo Operations Manager at Brussels Airlines, applauds the change: “Thanks to the new partnership, we’ll now be provided with innovative and modern containers and pallets even more efficiently.” Particular through Jettainer’s lightweights “we will be able to carry more freight and less container weight.” He concluded his statement by saying: “This does not only represent financial savings, but it also supports our efforts to offer more efficient air services and to reduce our ecological footprint.”

Heiner Siegmund  /  Mark Gaetje

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