Saudia Airlines and Saudia Cargo recently jointly tendered out for offers to manage the Jeddah based airline’s extensive fleet of aircraft containers and pallets.
It was announced at this year’s IATA World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi this week that Saudia has chosen Unilode Aviation Solutions as the winner.
Unilode moving ahead since rebranding
The Zurich, Switzerland based global provider of outsourced Unit load Devices (ULD) management and repairs has been gathering various new ULD management contracts since the company, which previously operated under the the name CHEP Aerospace Solutions, was sold by its previous owner, Brambles, to the Swedish EQT Infrastructure equity company in November of last year.
The name-change to ‘Unilode Aviation Solutions’ followed in February this year with the previous management remaining in charge of all future operations.
The company which many years ago originally traded under the name of Unitpool, in the meantime owns and manages more than 100,000 ULD’s and can boast over 40 airline customers in more than 450 airports worldwide.
Unilode has almost 50 repair and service centre’s around the globe.
Double whammy with the Saudia contract
The Saudia contract which was the result of a joint tender by Saudia (passenger) and Saudia Cargo, covers both the passenger and cargo ULD fleet of the carrier and will take effect as of 1. April 2017.
The new agreement which is said to run for a longer period also means that Saudia and Saudia Cargo will make use of Unilode's Hybrid ULD management solution whereby the carrier has access to a dedicated ULD fleet supplied by Unilode.
The deal also entails that Unilode will set up their own ULD management offices in Jeddah and Riyadh, as well as operating a new repair shop in Jeddah which will repair and maintain the carrier’s ULD’s and passenger galley carts. This also includes managing Saudia’s ULD accessories as well.
One of the largest ULD partnerships
This seems to be a major deal for Unilode as Saudia and Saudia Cargo operate an impressive fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
The passenger fleet of around 130 aircraft is made up of over 75 long range A330, B777 and B787 aircraft, along with over 50 Airbus A320/A321 short and medium range types.
Saudia Cargo itself operates a mixed fleet of almost twenty B747 and B777 freighters to destinations worldwide.
Saudia Cargo CEO, Nabil Khojah commented on the deal that: “ Saudia Cargo is a major player in the global air cargo market and we count on Unilode’s commitment to help us meet and exceed our customers expectations.“
Dr. Ludwig Bertsch, Unilode President and CEO is very happy with the new deal and stated that: “we are pleased to announce such a major ULD management agreement, which is a great sign of our business continuity and growth following the change of ownership of our company and our rebranding from CHEP Aerospace Solutions to Unilode Aviation Solutions.“
John Mc Donagh