Cargo airline Amerijet will have doubled the size of its fleet to 25 aircraft within a span of two years when it soon takes delivery of two Boeing 767-300 converted freighters, a noteworthy achievement for a midtier regional carrier. 

Miami-based Amerijet is leasing the cargo jets from Air Transport Services Group (NASDAQ: ATSG), a provider of various air transport services that also operates two cargo airlines of its own. Representatives of the two companies participated in a handoff ceremony at ATSG’s facility in Wilmington, Ohio, according to a news release. 

The planes are currently finishing maintenance at ATSG’s Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services subsidiary, said spokeswoman Kym Parks.

One of the pending deliveries also has special importance for ATSG because it marks the first time the company’s leasing arm has built an aftermarket cargo jet through the Boeing conversion program. For two decades, the world’s largest lessor of 767-300 freighters has sent used passenger planes to Israel Aerospace Industries for cargo retrofitting. Amerijet is receiving one converted freighter from each aerospace company.

ATSG in November 2021 engaged Boeing to diversify its supplier base and ensure uninterrupted access to equipment and eventually placed eight orders. Many conversion facilities don’t have open production slots for at least two years and are falling behind on deliveries because of supply chain challenges with components and labor. ATSG has also spread its wings beyond the 767 with production slots reserved for converting Airbus A330 medium widebody aircraft for the first time as the available feedstock for retired 767s starts to wind down. 

A licensed Boeing partner in Singapore did the touch labor for its structural redesign, which involves stripping the aircraft to its frame, plugging windows and installing heavy-duty wall lining and flooring, a wide cargo door, cockpit-protection barrier and container-handling system. 

Amerijet has sprouted from a small carrier focused on the Caribbean and Central American market into a near-global carrier over the past two years, coinciding with the arrival of CEO Tim Strauss in August 2020. 

Since November, the company has expanded its footprint to China and South Korea flying three 767-300s to the U.S. on behalf of Maersk Air Cargo, which actually owns the planes. Amerijet’s own blue-tail fleet is 22 strong, including six Boeing 757 converted freighters that were added in 2022, according to database When Strauss arrived there were only eight aircraft in the fleet — all 767s. During Strauss’ tenure, Amerijet has also added domestic routes, increased frequencies between Miami and Brussels to four times per week and picked up DHL Express and the U.S. Postal Service as customers.

The company’s primary hub at Miami International Airport has more than 360,000 square feet of handling space for imports and exports, plus a 40,000-square-foot refrigerated section for perishable goods. It has more than 1,000 employees.

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