Air Transport Services Group has taken a step back from its planned joint-venture with China's Okay Airways, and suspended its plans to launch a new cargo airline, dubbed BrightStar Express Airlines.

ATSG faced challenges with some strong regulatory delays over the course of late 2016 and into 2017 and during that time, the JV partners looked at some alternatives in terms of doing some different things.

ATSG is now looking at its entire China strategy right now.

One of the reasons ATSG has taken a step back so it can focus on some new relationships with some existing airlines within China that are mulling strategic opportunities on a number of different fronts across ATSG's portfolio of companies.

"The focus for getting into the JV to begin with was just to give ATSG a more preferred seat at the table for leasing aircraft into China", says CEO Joe Hete.