ATSG to add first A330s as demand for mid-sized freighters soars

By Damian Brett

Rich Corrado

ATSG has secured conversion slots for A330 freighters as it continues to expand its mid-sized freighter options.

While announcing its second-quarter results, the lessor said that it had secured 20 conversion slots for A330 freighters.

Until now, the company has operated with a fleet of Boeing freighters. However, the company recently announced plans to add its first A321 freighter next year.

Rich Corrado, president and chief executive officer of ATSG, said: “The A330 converted freighter, like our B767-300s will be a popular mid-sized option for our leasing customers.

“The addition of an A330 option will provide our leasing business with a third platform for growth, and complements the A321 freighter we will also introduce next year.”

The slots start in mid-2023 through the end of 2025.

It also secured 40 conversion slots for B67-300s, Airbus A321s.

During the second quarter, the company saw revenues increase by 8.5% year on year to $409.9m. Earnings from continuing operations before taxes improved to a profit of $104.2m from a loss of $106.2m last year. Net earnings stood at $80m from a loss of $104.9m last year.

Revenues were up thanks to aircraft leasing and ground services, which “increased substantially” from a year ago on the back of seventeen more leases of Boeing 767 freighters since June 2020, including five in the second quarter this year.

Passenger operations did not perform as well due to the pandemic.

“As we had forecast, ATSG’s revenue, earnings and adjusted ebitda improved significantly from first-quarter levels as our airline businesses achieved their performance targets, and leasing of our Boeing 767 freighters remained on a record pace,” said Corrado.

“We have delivered seven of the eleven additional Boeing 767s we will lease to, and fly for Amazon this year during the first half, and accelerated our plans to offer Airbus A321-200 converted freighters to our lease customers.

“While our ongoing Boeing 757 combi and passenger flying assignments have not yet fully recovered from the pandemic, we are optimistic about continued steady improvement on those fronts, and about meeting or outperforming the overall results we have projected for 2021.”

Looking forward, Corrado is expecting e-commerce volumes to drive demand.

“E-commerce merchandising continues to drive strong demand for freighter aircraft capacity worldwide, and our Boeing 767s are at the center of that global trend,” he said.

“We have orders from companies such as DHL, Star Air, and Amerijet to lease at least ten more Boeing 767-300 freighters next year, and demand from multiple customers for others starting as late as 2025.”

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