KLOTEN, Switzerland: January 12, 2017. Air Caraïbes Atlantique has become CHEP Aerospace Solutions' 40th customer with the signing of a four-year partnership to supply and manage ULDs for its growing aircraft fleet.
Air Caraïbes is acquiring three A350s this year for its long-haul subsidiary and its low-cost 'French Blue' carrier. The partnership with CHEP includes the replacement of Air Caraïbes existing container fleet with CHEP's lightweight containers this year.
The airline said it was already considering the purchase of lightweight ULDs to improve its fuel efficiency and opted for CHEP because it "provided the best mix in terms of assets, global expertise and the lowest overall costs base with the maximum value".
Air Caraïbes Atlantique CEO Marc Rochet added: "With the introduction of our new fleet and network growth, we were looking for opportunities to make our operations more efficient while reducing costs, enhancing performance and supporting our commitment to sustainability."
The airline will be the first French carrier to operate the A350 with Air France not due to receive the type until 2019. By the end of this year Air Caraïbes expects to be flying five A330-300s and two A350-900s on long-haul services between France and the Caribbean. French Blue will get the third A350-900 to link Paris, Orly with Réunion.
Rochet said he has also asked Airbus to increase the maximum take-off weight of the A330 from 242 to 245 tons to allow for an extra pallet or 15 more passengers.
Meanwhile with both its airlines based at Orly, Air Caraïbes is trying to find more slots to handle the new aircraft or be faced with splitting its timetable with CDG. Last month the airline began flying to Havana and Santiago de Cuba from Orly.