The Florida-based cargo airline started operation in 1974, its major transportation and growth commenced with its trans-Atlantic route between Miami and Brussels in 2017. Today, the Florida-based cargo airline is the fastest-growing cargo carrier in the USA. Not only is Amerijet one of the top-ranked all-cargo carriers in international air freight operating from the Miami Airport ranked 3rd in SEP22, but its upward trend is continuing, CEO, Tim Strauss tells CargoForwarder Global at the transport logistic Americas & air cargo forum in Miami, 08-10NOV22. One key reason for this optimistic forecast is its CMI agreement with Maersk Air Cargo, which the two companies agreed upon in Copenhagen, in Spring, and which is now being implemented step by step.
Tim Strauss delivers impressive figures to back his statements: In 2020, Amerijet grew its cargo sales by 30%, followed by 40% in 2021, and – were it not for the global changes happening this
year – a mix of passenger markets almost returning to pre-pandemic times and economic shifts in part - 2022 would have been seeing similar growth to 2021. As it stands, taking JAN-OCT22, Amerijet
still boasts a remarkable 15%+ increase.
Impressive fleet growth
The carrier’s fleet growth plan also plays a decisive role in this respect. Since JAN22, Amerijet has added six Boeing 757 freighters to its fleet, and five B767 freighters will be delivered next. By the end of November 2022, the airline will operate 22 freighters, increasing to 28 once the B767 freighters will be delivered in 2023. Asked whether the fleet is made up of leased or bought freighters, Tim Strauss confirms that all aircraft operated by his company are leased on an ACMI (acronym for Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) or CMI (Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) basis and that there are no intentions to change this strategy.
Maersk will contribute three production freighters B767-300Fs, to the fleet, which will be operated by Amerijet on transpacific routes. It already began with the delivery of the first of the three aircraft three weeks ago (started 31OCT2022. CFG reported). Since then, the Maersk freighter connects Rockford, Illinois, with Incheon Airport in South Korea. The transpacific services, operated twice weekly so far, will be scaled up once the other two freighters have arrived. The second is due for delivery at the end of this month, with the last Maersk B767F to follow in JAN23. Seen from a holistic perspective, Tim Strauss believes that cooperations across industry sectors such as air and ocean carriers, will become normal, as evidenced by CMA CGM-Air France-KLM Cargo, Kuehne+Nagel and the company’s advanced air freight ambitions, or MSC’s intention to operate freighters.
“The good thing is that the B757 and B767 are very similar, which allows us to cross-train and qualify our pilots to operate both aircraft types,” Tim illustrates. This saves time-consuming and costly type-rating procedures to obtain an additional flight license, and allows for flexible crew planning.
What is little talked about, is the fact that, in addition to its main market, the Caribbean, Mexico and parts of Central and South America, Amerijet deploys a significant portion of its fleet on North American routes, by operating both B767 F and B757 F. Tim Strauss indicates that the Boeing 767 freighters also utilized by Maersk for reasons of market entry will be replaced by B777Fs.
The Triple Seven freighter is a game changer, he emphasizes. Something that also has consequences for Amerijet’s own fleet, he says. “In three years from now, you will see us flying B777Fs,” Mr. Strauss indicates an intended rollover.
Asked about SAF utilization to power his fleet, he says that there is very little use of this climate-friendly fuel in North America up to this point. This is also due to the fact that the available quantities are very limited and significantly more expensive than traditional Jet A-1 fuel.
Grabbing market shares
Wrapping up the growth trajectory, Tim says that Amerijet’s main objective during the last couple of years was to grab market shares and build on them. This includes the carrier’s digital transformation, which was performed very smoothly within a very short time, with much of the transformation happening in the last 7 months. The carrier streamlined around 13 of its IT systems during this time. “We have positioned the company for growth and implemented technology that will allow us to improve operational efficiencies and customer experiences”, added Christine Richard, Head of Marketing.
“With a lot of what we do, we sail under the radar of public perception.Our objective is to continuously evaluate new opportunities by providing better service and higher
quality and transparency,” CEO, Tim Strauss concludes.
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