Amerijet maintains expansion plans despite cutbacks

Source: Amerijet

Freighter operator Amerijet is maintaining plans to expand its fleet despite changing market conditions resulting in the carrier needing to reduce staff numbers.

The carrier, which has been expanding its fleet in recent years, said that it had reduced its workforce by 15 positions last week based on current business needs.

Confirming a report in FreightWaves, Amerijet senior director of marketing Christine Richard said: “Laying off employees is one of the most difficult decisions a company has to make.”

She added: “The Latin American and Caribbean countries’ slow economic growth affects all carriers providing service to this region.

“We have and will continue diversifying our business to build solid development and growth strategies globally.”

Richard said the carrier had not changed its fleet expansion plans.

She added: “And we continue to hire pilots; primarily focusing on direct entry captains as we expand our fleet.”

The airline currently operates a fleet of 23 aircraft – 17 B767Fs and six B757s.

Late last year, chief executive Tim Strauss said the airline was hoping to expand its fleet from 22 to 27 aircraft this year, with five B767s due to join in 2023.

Looking ahead, Strauss predicted further growth. “I think we can double the fleet again in another five years,” he said.

The carrier has over recent years expanded from a regional carrier serving destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America to one with a footprint in Europe and Asia.

The airline also attracted a new customer type last year in the shape of shipping group Maersk.

Last week, Amerijet pilots voted to ratify a tentative agreement reached with the airline.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said that out of the 120 eligible pilots who voted, 80% voted in favour of the new collective bargaining agreement.

“The three-year deal includes pay raises upwards of 45%, as well as improvements to schedules, work rules, and retirement security,” ALPA said.

Tim Millar, chair of the Amerijet ALPA master executive council, added: “I am thrilled that our pilots demonstrated their unity and commitment to attain a collective agreement that reflects the contributions we bring to the success of our airline.

“With the improvements in pay, quality of life, retirement, and insurance, I believe we will enable the company to recruit and retain pilots to sustain our continued growth into new markets.”

Amerijet eyes further freighter fleet expansion

 

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]