US freighter lessor ATSG sees “excellent” 2015 for air cargo

US-based freighter lessor Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) has highlighted “fundamental industry dynamics” that point toward “an excellent year for air cargo companies in 2015”.
Nasdaq-quoted ATSG, the world’s largest owner and operator of converted B767 freighters, reported 2014 fourth quarter adjusted pre-tax earnings up 19 per cent to $17.7m
Fourth quarter revenues were $157.9m, slightly higher than a year ago and up $19.5m from the third quarter of 2014.
Joe Hete, ATSG president and chief executive, said: “ATSG’s principal businesses made significant progress in 2014, as our leasing unit grew its portfolio of multi-year dry leases by 20 per cent, to 24 aircraft, and our airlines turned in a strong holiday season performance to cap a successful year.
“In the fourth quarter, we achieved our best adjusted EBITDA in six years, aided by full deployment of our available aircraft. Fundamental industry dynamics point toward an excellent year for air cargo companies in 2015, and we fully expect to benefit from these factors assuming these trends continue.”
ATSG provides aircraft leasing, air cargo lift, aircraft maintenance services and airport ground services. Its subsidiaries include ABX Air, Airborne Global Solutions, Air Transport International, Cargo Aircraft Management and Airborne.
In January this year, ATSG completed a multi-year commercial agreement with DHL that calls for the extension through March 2019 of the B767 freighter leases and operating services that ATSG has provided in support of DHL’s US network for more than a decade.
Dry leases for 13 ATSG-owned B767 freighters already leased to DHL were extended through March 2019, and two others operating for DHL will be converted to four year leases.
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