The US Department of Transportation has given GlobalX (G6, Miami International) the go-ahead to grow its fleet to 16 aircraft, opening the door for more A320-200s and A321-200 freighters to arrive in 2023. The airline also plans to take its first A319-100 in June 2023.

"This increased authorisation will allow us to continue the execution of our 2023 business plan to add up to two more A320 passenger aircraft and two A321 freighters later this year, subject to FAA approvals. This is in addition to one A319 passenger aircraft and one A321 freighter that are being added to the fleet in the next 30 days, bringing the current fleet to 12 aircraft," Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Wegel said.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows GLOBALX currently operates seven A320-200s, two A321-200s, and one A321-200(P2F). It plans to add the first A321-200(PCF), N411GX (msn 1438), by the end of May 2023, followed by a first A319, N285GX (msn 1936), next month. The A319 will be used for the carrier's ETOPS certification. A further two A321 freighters are planned for delivery in June and July 2023, followed by the eighth A320 in August 2023. The carrier plans to then add one more A320 and two further A321 freighters in the fourth quarter of the year.

GLOBALX's scheduled Summer 2023 passenger operations will include a two-aircraft ACMI contract for TUI fly (Netherlands) out of Amsterdam Schiphol, charter contract with start-up Red Way out of Lincoln, NE, Lynx Air wet-lease out of Calgary, as well as an extensive programme of leisure charters to the Caribbean (including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti) and Mexico, and other ACMI and charter contracts.

In 2024, the airline hopes to reach 30 aircraft in its fleet, of which 12 will be freighters.

Besides its existing AOC in the United States, the airline continues certification of GlobalX Colombia (Bogotá), which will be an all-cargo carrier. ch-aviation understands the certification is expected in less than a year.

The airline conceded it faced a number of financial headwinds in the first quarter of 2023, on top of the usual slowness of this time of the year. The challenges included "accelerated cockpit crew hiring and training to prepare for a busy 2023 summer schedule resulting in an increase of approximately USD1.4 million in training expenses; (ii) the deferral of a major US government contract from January to May, which represented approximately USD6 million in revenue; (iii) continued delay in delivery of our first A321 freighter which resulted in lost revenue of approximately USD1.5 million; (iv) uncontrollable delays of passenger aircraft from heavy maintenance resulting in 171 days of available aircraft time; and (v) the incurrence of cargo related expenses in anticipation of A321F revenue hours in Q1 which were not flown".

GLOBALX said it expects to net USD2.25 million in compensation for late aircraft deliveries.

The airline posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of USD2.9 million in the first quarter of 2023 and also revealed it is in talks with unnamed third parties to secure more working capital.

"Over the last 18 months, we get approached almost continually by people who want to take a look at us and see if it makes sense for them to invest in us. We've done almost none of that, we financed ourselves internally with some of our investors because we don't want to suffer the dilution. We've lived on our own resources. We are thinly capitalised in terms of working capital, we're talking to a lot of different groups and we're in what we think are advanced discussions with a number of parties," Wegel said during an investor call.

He clarified that while the airline was looking at various options for securing new capital, "most of them involve a debt or credit facility" but could also come in the form of equity. The new funds would be used to "further invest in the business and facilitate the continued growth of the fleet, including the acquisition of additional leased aircraft, as well as for additional working capital".

GLOBALX ended the first quarter with USD14.7 million in current assets and USD34.1 million in current liabilities.