When Amazon announced its agreements with Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings for a forty-unit 767 freighter fleet, demand for 767 feedstock and conversion slots quickly ramped up. But this demand was accompanied by the question of “after Amazon, then what?” Once ATSG and Atlas had fulfilled their obligation to Amazon, would there be any further demand for freighter-converted 767-300s?
The answer appears to be a resounding “Yes.” For example, at the Cargo Facts Symposium in Miami last month, Rich Corrado, Chief Operating Office at ATSG, said that even as ATSG was nearing completion on its 20-freighter commitment to Amazon, it was confident enough to have acquired many more 767-300ERs and secured conversion slots for them. Two of those converted freighters were recently redelivered and are now about to enter service:
- Canada-based Cargojet acquired a 767-300BDSF (25197, ex-American Airlines) on long-term dry lease from Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM, ATSG’s leasing arm) [FAT 004089].
- US-based Northern Air Services (NAS) acquired the first of three 767-300BDSFs (25195, ex-American Airlines) on long-term dry lease from CAM. Northern Air Services will hand the freighter back to ATSG for initial operation on a CMI basis [FATs 004090 – 4091]. NAS, the parent of airlines Northern Air Cargo and Aloha Air Cargo, as well as of virtual airline StratAir, is in the process of adding the 767 to its AOC, and will eventually operate this freighter, and the following two (scheduled for 2018), itself.
In addition to the above 767-300 freighter lease agreements, ATSG also has an agreement to lease three 767-300 freighters to Amerijet International Airlines, with deliveries all scheduled for 2018. Amerijet currently operates three 767‑200Fs and three 767-300BDSFs.
Of course, ATSG isn’t the only customer for 767 conversions. Atlas still has some way to go to meet its 20-freighter commitment to Amazon. In addition, US-based Kalitta Air has two 767-300ERs currently in conversion with Bedek Aviation Group, UAE-based lessor DAE Capital appears to have one with Bedek, and UPS has a firm order with Boeing for three 767-300 conversions.
Regarding the UPS order, as we have said in the past, Cargo Facts expects the three announced conversion orders are not the end of the story, and that they will be followed by many more. Although, if Boeing is willing to increase its 767-300F production rate, and take on more customers beyond FedEx and the US Air Force, we would not be surprised to see UPS switch to new-builds.