Air cargo carrier AirNet Systems helps banks keep their records straight. Transporting canceled checks and other bank documents accounts for the majority of the company's sales. AirNet also offers express delivery of such cargo as human organs and time-sensitive medications, as well as general freight. Founded in 1974, it provides both scheduled and charter cargo services. Overall, AirNet operates a fleet of aircraft, including jets and turboprops. It serves more than 80 markets in the US. In 2008, AirNet was acquired by an affiliate of investment firm Bayside Capital.
Bayside Capital paid about $29 million for AirNet's outstanding shares and about $5 million for AirNet stock held by the company. Two months after the acquisition closed, air cargo industry veteran George Gonzalez was named CEO. Gonzalez, who joined AirNet as a board member in conjunction with the acquisition, replaced Bruce Parker, who stayed on as a board member.
Before it was acquired, AirNet had been working to grow by focusing on its express services business. The company is targeting medical testing laboratories and pharmaceutical companies as potential customers; in addition, it hopes to attract more business from large express delivery companies, for which AirNet can offer feeder services to smaller markets.
The company formed a strategic alliance with Nations Express in late 2010. The alliance will give AirNet access to Nations Express' nationwide expedited pick-up and delivery services and in turn, Nations Express will have access to AirNet's fleet of aircraft.
In November 2008, AirNet expanded its geographic reach when it entered a partnership with Flight Express, another unit owned by Bayside Capital. Under the terms of the agreement, both companies share equipment, personnel, and customers served by both companies.
The company has seen its bank-related revenue drop because of a federal law allowing banks to electronically transfer images of checks rather than physically transferring the documents. The law, known as Check 21, took effect in October 2004, and banks have gradually been moving toward electronic transfers. As customers' requirements have changed, AirNet has restructured its delivery operations and raised rates for some services.
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