Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) announced today an innovative agreement with Amerijet International, Inc. that provides a best-fit aircraft freighter solution for Amerijet’s expanding air-cargo network.
The agreement calls for Amerijet, which currently dry-leases three Boeing 767-200 freighters from ATSG’s subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management Inc. (CAM) under long-term agreements, to dry-lease two larger, extended-range Boeing 767-300 freighters from CAM, under six-year agreements beginning during the third quarter of 2014. In the interim, ATSG airline subsidiary Air Transport International (ATI), will provide a dedicated 767-200 freighter on an ACMI basis to support Amerijet’s expanded near-term requirements.
Later this year, when the two additional 767-300s are fully deployed, Amerijet will return one of the Boeing 767-200s it currently dry-leases from CAM. These arrangements will increase the ATSG aircraft at Amerijet from three to five. Amerijet has further agreed to extend the lease maturities on the two remaining Boeing 767-200s for 18 months each, into the first quarter of 2019.
“This agreement reflects ATSG’s unique ability to put together flexible freighter aircraft solutions in ways that meet the needs of expanding cargo airlines like Amerijet,” ATSG President and CEO Joe Hete said. “No other company matches our ability to creatively combine wet- and dry-lease solutions for customers seeking midsize freighter aircraft.”
Amerijet, which operates throughout Miami and Central America, has been a longtime ACMI customer of ABX Air, an ATSG cargo airline, and has been leasing aircraft from CAM since 2010. It was ATSG’s first Wet2Dry conversion customer. Wet2Dry is a customized program that allows airlines to put a freighter aircraft into service via one of ATSG’s subsidiary airlines, and then convert the wet lease to a dry-leased asset, thus assuming total control of the aircraft. Wet2Dry significantly decreases the customer’s risk and increases the likelihood of success in implementing 767 freighter service.
“Leasing the two additional 767-300 freighters fits with our growth strategy and improves our efficiencies,” noted Amerijet President Dave Bassett. “Leasing from CAM gives us access to ATSG’s array of capabilities. They do an excellent job of bundling their services to get aircraft into service more quickly. We utilize their parts and maintenance support, which allows us to leverage their scale advantages. And we can also rely on ATSG when we need additional short-term lift to help cover peak needs, or C-Check coverage. Our relationship with ATSG is very important to Amerijet.”
CAM President Rich Corrado said, "With the placement of these aircraft, we expect to have twenty-three, or more than half of our forty-three available Boeing 767 freighter aircraft, under long-term leases with external customers. The rest are deployed in ACMI service by an ATSG-owned airline. We are seeing increasing dry-lease demand from leading cargo airlines and other operators for both replacement and growth needs. Our fleet of 767s, and the flexibility of the ATSG family of companies make our offerings very attractive as the air cargo market begins to rebound.”
Amerijet operates Boeing 727-200, Boeing 767-200 and Boeing 767-300 aircraft from its primary hub at Miami International Airport, and provides air freight services from Miami and throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Its main base is Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. ATSG’s relationship with Amerijet has grown from one 767 freighter provided on an ACMI basis through ABX Air, to two dry leased 767-200s and two dry leased 767-300s, with an additional 767-200 freighter provided on an ACMI basis through ATSG subsidiary, Air Transport International.
ATSG is a leading provider of aircraft leasing and air cargo transportation and related services to domestic and foreign air carriers and other companies that outsource their air cargo lift requirements. ATSG, through its leasing and airline subsidiaries, is the world's largest owner and operator of converted Boeing 767 freighter aircraft. Through its principal subsidiaries, including two airlines with separate and distinct U.S. FAA Part 121 Air Carrier certificates, ATSG provides aircraft leasing, air cargo lift, aircraft maintenance services and airport ground services. ATSG's subsidiaries include ABX Air, Inc.; Airborne Global Solutions, Inc.; Air Transport International, Inc.; Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc.; and Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, Inc. For more information, please see www.atsginc.com.
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There are a number of important factors that could cause Air Transport Services Group's ("ATSG's") actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, changes in market demand for our assets and services, the number and timing of deployments of our aircraft, and other factors that are contained from time to time in ATSG's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers should carefully review this release and should not place undue reliance on ATSG's forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements were based on information, plans and estimates as of the date of this release. ATSG undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect changes in underlying assumptions or factors, new information, future events or other changes.
Quint Turner, Chief Financial Officer, 937-382-5591