Reverse thrust: Strauss to remain Amerijet CEO after reconciliation

A white jet with cargo door wide open on a bright sunny day.

Tim Strauss has rescinded his resignation as CEO of Miami-based cargo airline Amerijet International Airlines, one week after the company announced his surprise departure in what industry sources said was a disagreement over how to implement a new strategic vision.

“I am pleased to announce that Tim Strauss has decided to remain as CEO of Amerijet. I understand that the past week and a half may have been unsettling for some of you and appreciate your professionalism and support for the company,” Executive Chairman Vic Karjian said late Monday afternoon in a message to employees that was obtained by American Shipper.

Karjian was scheduled to become interim CEO last Saturday while Amerijet searched for Strauss’ replacement. Karjian served four years as CEO before moving up to the board level when Strauss joined the company from Air Canada, where he headed up cargo operations, in August 2020. 

American Shipper reported that Strauss resigned in frustration over not having free rein to implement decisions as the company hired new talent, increased investment in IT projects, and grew its fleet, operating footprint and customer base. One of the major customers Amerijet now flies for is DHL Express.

“I am very pleased that Tim has decided to stay at Amerijet and look forward to continuing to partner with him as we realize our ambitions for the company,” Karjian said n a press release issued as this story went to publication.

Amerijet, which is owned by New York-based private equity firm ZS Fund, didn’t explain how the sides resolved the apparent power struggle.

“There were many factors that led to my decision to stay, but the most important were the great team that is presently at the company and our tremendous growth prospects,” Strauss said in the unpublished press release. “I look forward to continuing to support our employees and customers during this exciting period for Amerijet.”

Amerijet started in 1974 with one leased jet flying small cargo and passengers to the Bahamas. By 1978 Amerijet was flying overnight routes operating a fleet of Falcon 20s. In 1987, Amerijet opened its hub at Miami International Airport to cover the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and parts of South America. Last year it launched its first trans-Atlantic route.

The company has been rapidly growing and now has more than 800 employees.

Strauss has added five aircraft to Amerijet’s fleet this year, bringing the total to 14 Boeing 767 freighters and one Airbus A321 narrowbody jet operated on its behalf by Titan Airways. The company has already taken delivery of two of six Boeing 757 converted freighters it ordered and plans to deploy them later this year, spokeswoman Christine Richard said last week.

Strauss is also developing plans to expand to additional European destinations beyond Brussels and is exploring expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Cargo airline Amerijet, CEO Tim Strauss divorce after 1 year