Canada-based specialist ACMI carrier Cargojet no longer expects to add a thirteenth 767-300F to its freighter fleet by year-end 2019. Plans to convert two 767-200s Cargojet purchased in August 2018 to freighter configuration, however, remain in place.
In an April earnings release, the carrier had outlined plans to acquire an additional freighter-converted 767-300 in 2019, “to accommodate the additional ACMI route between [the] US and Mexico that started in 2018.” In anticipation of the acquisition, Cargojet forecasted it would grow its 767-300F fleet from twelve at the time, to thirteen units by Q419. No longer is that the case. Plans for a thirteenth 763F were absent from a release accompanying the carrier’s 2Q earnings. As it stands at the end of 2Q, the Canadian carrier is not expecting any changes to its 767-300F fleet between now and 4Q21, though this could certainly change.
Cargojet did not elaborate on whether the revised forecast resulted from difficulty securing feedstock or conversion slots, or from other commercial factors. As has been the case since the Amazon Air network was launched in 2016, demand for 767-300 airframes suitable for conversion has been nearly incessant. In recent months, the situation has not improved. Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), a major conversion customer for the platform, continues to convert aircraft for existing customers like Amazon, as well as new customers like UPS. Additionally, the grounding of the 737 MAX has prompted some 767 operators to reevaluate retirement schedules for the airframe.
Looking ahead to 2019 and 2020, Cargojet is planning a few changes to its 767-200 fleet. At present, the carrier operates a single 767-200BDSF (22319) leased from CAM under an agreement that expires in February 2020. The leased 767-200F capacity will be replaced with two aircraft Cargojet purchased in August 2018 and plans to add to its fleet in 4Q19 and 2Q20, respectively. Cargo Facts believes two ex-UTair units (30430 and 30431) are likely the two units Cargojet acquired for conversion. Both aircraft are stored at IAI Aerospace’s Tel Aviv MRO, awaiting induction for conversion, and both are linked to Cargojet registrations.
Separately from the two planned 767-200 conversions, Cargojet said that last month it purchased a 767-200BDSF, which, “is currently under lease to a third party,” and is not included in its current fleet total.
For now, Cargojet’s fleet comprises twenty-three freighters, including twelve 767-300Fs, eight 757-200Fs and a 767-200BDSF.