Canada-based Cargojet will fuel domestic and international growth through the addition of five 767Fs and two 777 freighters. To fund the acquisition, Cargojet expects to raise C$350 million by selling shares to a group of banks and investment firms through a bought deal equity offering.
While the capital increase will fund the acquisition of five 767 freighters — the backbone of Cargojet’s e-commerce and express-focused fleet — the large widebody freighters will make new international routes possible for the carrier.
The pair of 777Fs is expected in 2023, and will represent a new platform for Cargojet. The carrier did not specify whether it would acquire new-build 777Fs, used 777Fs or freighter-converted 777-300ERSFs. Based on the capital being raised, “it would likely be either used units coming off lease, or conversions,” said Frederic Horst, managing director of Cargo Facts Consulting.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is developing a freighter-conversion program for the 777-300ER. GECAS, the launch customer for the 777-300ERSF, said in October 2020 that the first placement with launch operator Kalitta Air is expected in 2023.
Cargojet is expecting to take delivery of the five 767Fs sooner — in 2021 and 2022, according to a release from the carrier. It is unclear if Cargojet intends to acquire freighter-converted 767s, or airframes to convert on its own.
In the past, Cargojet has followed both paths. In 2020, the airline acquired a pair of 767-200s and sent them for conversion with IAI. Cargojet has also worked with Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) to lease 767Fs. Although either option is feasible, aircraft owned by Amazon, CAM and DHL occupy most of IAI’s conversion slots in Tel Aviv (TLV) and Mexico City (MEX). Boeing, the other STC holder for 767-300ER conversions, is currently converting aircraft for DHL Express and SF Express.
Cargojet did not respond to Cargo Facts’ request for a comment.
Funds from the equity offering will also be used to repay outstanding debt. Cargojet will acquire outright six aircraft on finance leases that include a buyout option. Cargojet’s active freighter fleet comprises eight 757-200PCFs, three 767-200BDSFs and fourteen freighter-converted 767-300Fs.
The equity offering, with underwriters including Scotiabank, CIBC Capital Markets, RBC Capital, J.P. Morgan Securities Canada, Morgan Stanley Canada and others is expected to close on or around Feb. 1, 2021.
Feb. 1, 2020 Update: Cargojet announced the completion of the equity offering and clarified the 767 and 777 freighters would be “re-delivered” freighter conversions.