Amerijet expansion underway as B757s begin operations

By Damian Brett

Tim Strauss

Fast-growing freighter operator Amerijet’s latest expansion is underway with the first of its recent order of B757 freighter aircraft beginning operations.

The Miami-hubbed airline’s chief executive Tim Strauss said that so far five of the six B757 freighters it has on order have been delivered, with the remaining aircraft due to arrive over the coming weeks.

The first of these aircraft began operations on March 8 after a slight delay in adding them to the Amerijet certificate due to pandemic backlogs.

The first official flight was to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic but the aircraft had previously carried out proving runs carrying some cargo between Miami and San Juan.

The remaining five aircraft will begin operations over the coming weeks.

Strauss said: “Probably every ten days from here on in we will introduce a new airplane into the fleet and by the middle of April we will have all six of the aircraft flying – it could be a little faster but I don’t think it will be any slower.”

The B757 additions mean that by the end of April Amerijet’s fleet will stand at 20 freighters.

To highlight the speed of growth, Strauss, who joined from Air Canada in the summer of 2020, points out that around 20 months ago the airline was operating with just eight aircraft.

Looking further ahead, the B767s are due for delivery in early 2023 and will expand the fleet up to 25 aircraft -19 B767s and six B757s.

Strauss adds that the carrier is in discussions over another four aircraft that could join the fleet next year although he cautions: “We’ll see how that one plays out”.

Asked how Amerijet will utilise the aircraft, Strauss explains: “The core of our business has been flying through the Caribbean and Latin America region out of Miami and we have recently extended that into Europe, into Brussels.

“That will continue to be the core and some of these new aircraft will go in there as we have been using outside lift that is pricey in the current environment, so we will replace some of that.

“We also do flying on an ACMI and CMI level and the rest of the aircraft will go there, in one way or another or will do on-demand charters depending on what the demand is at the time.”

The airline also counts the large integrators amongst its North America customer base, also flying for them into Liege and Tel Aviv. It also carriers postal volumes in the US.

“We are just looking to continue to expand where the environment will continue to let us expand,” he said.

Strauss added that the B757s are smaller than existing aircraft and will therefore allow Amerijet to offer higher frequency services into the Latin America and Caribbean markets.

Meanwhile, the oversize engines sported by the B757s mean they can be used into high altitude locations.

The model is also popular with integrators and postal carriers, opening up the potential to expand with those customers.

As well as investing in its fleet, the carrier has also been adding “talented and gifted” personnel and modernising the IT systems.

Most recently, Amerijet began operating on the SmartKargo platform. It has also implemented a new finance system, a new crew scheduling platform and a system that helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions output.

Amerijet partners with SmartKargo

Strauss to remain as Amerijet CEO after U-turn

Amerijet takes aim at a fleet of 27 freighters

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