Global supply chain solutions leader AIT Worldwide Logistics has entered into a new Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) partnership with Ypsilanti, Michigan-based Kalitta Air. The strategic alliance continues AIT’s longstanding designation as a CRAF-sponsored freight forwarder, enabling the company to continue critical supply chain support for United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) missions while also increasing access to global routes, capacity, and charters for customers.
“For more than ten years, we’ve been proud and always at the ready to support USTRANSCOM through the CRAF program,” said AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel. “As AIT continues to grow our global footprint and scope, securing a CRAF partnership with an airline that has a similar global reach, with some of the world’s largest cargo aircraft, made perfect sense to our team—and that’s Kalitta.”
Kalitta operates B747-400 and B777F freighters for long-range international charters and scheduled services. Their fleet also includes B737F’s and smaller jet and turboprop aircraft serving the North American market with support for time-critical charter, life sciences, and aircraft on ground missions.
“We’re excited to enter into a new phase of collaboration with AIT,” said Vice President Cargo Marketing for Kalitta Air, Lynn Stauffer. “They’ve been a trusted partner for a long time, and we look forward to working together to support USTRANSCOM for years to come.”
Weigel added that Kalitta had been an AIT core carrier for decades, especially vital for the company’s government and aerospace business. The airline is also one of AIT’s top three carriers since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cleared to land and take off from military bases all over the world and with aircraft strategically positioned at hubs across the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America, Kalitta has the capacity to move cargo anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. And according to Weigel, the airline has already worked with AIT on hundreds of international charter projects.
Established in 1951, CRAF is a readiness program that provides a significant portion of the nation’s air mobility resources when the Department of Defense (DOD) airlift exceeds the capability of military aircraft.
This cooperative, voluntary program also involves the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. civil air carrier industry in a partnership to augment DOD aircraft capability during a national defense-related crisis.
Air carriers volunteer their aircraft to the CRAF program through contractual agreements with the air mobility command, and, in return, participating companies are given preference in carrying commercial peacetime cargo and passenger traffic for DOD.
In addition to the company’s CRAF partnership, AIT is also a member of the Transport Asset Protection Association, a certified Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism compliant provider, and is a sustaining member of the National Defense Transportation Association.