ATSG posts solid Q2 on back of B767 leases, airlines

Air Transport Services Group (ATSG)
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Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), reported its financial results for the the second quarter ended 30 June, with earnings of USD 24.5 million as compared to as loss of $53.9 million in 2Q 2017. Revenues were $203.6 million.

“Growth in our aircraft leasing and airline businesses led to another solid quarter for ATSG,” said Joe Hete, president and CEO of ATSG. The group added four more B767 freighters to its dry-leased fleet, and said it expects to secure additional B767 aircraft for freighter conversion to meet 2019 demand. We are uniquely positioned with our assets and complementary services for another great year in 2018 and even better results in 2019,” Hete added.

“At this point, our progress toward our 2018 targets is ahead of our plan,” Hete said. “Five of the ten additional 767s we originally targeted for deployment this year are in service, and we expect two more to be delivered in the third quarter and the rest in the fourth.

“We have continued strong interest from customers for the five 767s we expect to have in process as we enter 2019, including multi-aircraft placements.”

The group’s Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) division, which includes the 20 aircraft committed to Amazon, saw its pre-tax earnings for the period increase 20 per cent to $15.4 million, primarily due to the increase in leased freighters in service since June 2017, it said. For the first six months the CAM division reported pre-tax earnings of $30.9 million up from $26.1 million last year.

CAM had 73 cargo aircraft in service at June 30 this year, including seven more B767s and two B737s. Fifty-four of those cargo aircraft were under lease to external customers, and 19 were being operated by ATSG airlines on an ACMI basis.

CAM deployed five additional cargo aircraft in the second quarter. Four were B767- 300s, including a six-year dry lease with Air Incheon in April, an eight-year dry-lease with Amerijet in May, and a seven-year dry lease with Northern Aviation Services in June.

One B767 was leased internally to Air Transport International. One B737-400 was dry- leased to West Atlantic in April for five years. At June 30, two B767-200s returned from customers were being staged for redeployment.

The group’s ACMI Services division saw Q2 pre-tax earnings of $991,000, up from $258,000 last year and $4.9 million for the first half compared to a lost of $3.3 million last year.

ATSG also continues to project 2018 capital expenditures of about $300 million. In addition to capital expenditures for aircraft and related freighter modification costs, 2018 outlays includes costs for the design and certification of narrow-body freighter and combi variants of the Next Gen Boeing 737-700.

ATSG’s earnings continue to reflect non-operating charges for the development of a narrow-body freighter version of the midsize Airbus A321-200 via a joint venture. The B737-700 project is due for completion and certification later this year. The Airbus joint venture project is expected to be completed in late 2019.

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