MIAMI — Startup Global Crossing Airlines is scheduled to take delivery of two additional narrowbody freighters in December, on its way to a planned fleet of 15 cargo jets by 2026 — a notable contrast to other cargo operators that are putting the brakes on expansion amid a prolonged shipping downturn.
The Miami-based carrier, which also provides passenger charter service, received its cargo operating license earlier this year from the Federal Aviation Administration and now operates three Airbus A321 converted freighters in the U.S. and Caribbean region. Two more used aircraft, now in the final stages of the conversion process, are expected to arrive at headquarters next month, management said on last week’s third-quarter earnings call.
Global Crossing Airlines (OTCQB: JETMF) has leases ranging from seven to 10 years from multiple lessors, including Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), for six A321 converted freighters, according to the latest filing, and has tentative agreements for four more aircraft. The company expects to receive five additional converted aircraft next year, with a stretch goal of 15 freighters by the end of 2025.
The continued fleet expansion is occurring in a freight market that has seen global volumes tumble about 12% since the pandemic peak at the end of 2021, with rates about 30% lower than in 2022. Volumes are also down 8% to 9% year to date versus 2019, according to market intelligence firms Xeneta and WorldACD. More carriers are now shelving plans for extra capacity to preserve cash as revenues shrink.
ATSG last week said it wouldn’t proceed with conversions for six Boeing 767-300 aircraft already in its possession….
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