Motorcyclists looking to ship their machines to Europe, or across North America, can now deal with WestJet for air cargo needs.
Several air cargo outfits will deal with motorcycles, but in recent years, Air Canada has risen in popularity due to excellent pricing and its locations in large Canadian centers, and proximity to several large US cities as well. Air Canada will only fly motorcycles via widebody jets, so that means it typically will ship bikes between Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto, as well as an ever-changing list of overseas destinations.
Given the difficulty of shipping bikes in the US due to complications surrounding their dangerous goods status, many Euro riders find Air Canada a good way to enter North America, or return, and many US riders find Air Canada also works well for their needs.
Now, WestJet is offering similar service, after completing its Dangerous Goods certification last year. For now, it’s restricted to Toronto and Calgary airports in Canada, as that’s where it flies its widebodies, and Gatwick, Barcelona, Dublin and Paris in Europ. The company says it’s planning to add more destinations in Canada and overseas. As well, WestJet has a deal with Expair Cargo, which allows WestJet to deal with shipments through that network as well, although riders may not see the same pricing discounts that WestJet offers.
The process is the same as you’d undergo with Air Canada: Call the airline’s cargo department and arrange your reservation and pricing. Before you fly, take your bike to a Dangerous Goods inspection facility (at your cost), then drop it off at the airport with the bike prepped as per the airline’s rules.
The pricing seems quite attractive. WestJet is offering pricing in the $850 range within Canadian destinations (Canadian funds, we presume) and $1500 USD for a round trip to Europe. Air Canada’s prices were lower when it first entered this segment, but those prices have risen over recent years due to the cost of fuel. However, you’d want to call both (WestJet’s cargo department is 1-866-952-274, Air Canada is 1-800-387-4865) to get rates locked in before making any final plans.