Air Transport Services Group, a provider of medium wide-body aircraft leasing, air cargo transportation and related services, reported consolidated financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2014.
Pre-tax earnings from continuing operations increased 25 per cent to US$15.6 million driven by a US$7.0 million improvement in airline profitability compared with a year ago. Nett earnings from continuing operations increased 23 per cent to US$9.6 million, from US$7.8 million in the third quarter of 2013. Revenues were US$138.4 million, 2 per cent lower than a year ago. Excluding revenues from reimbursable expenses, revenues decreased US$4.8 million, or 4 per cent. Loss of revenues from Mideast operations offset additional revenues from aircraft dry leases.
ATSG also said it has reached an agreement in principle with DHL, setting a framework for multi-year commercial agreements covering 767 freighter leases and operating services that ATSG’s businesses currently provide in support of DHL’s US network.
The framework anticipates that DHL will extend the leases for 13 Boeing 767 freighters, and execute new leases for at least two more freighters that currently support DHL under short-term arrangements. The new leases will commence next year on or before 31 March 2015, and all of the freighter leases with DHL will run through March 2019. Also, ATSG’s businesses will operate and maintain those aircraft through March 2019 under an amendment to the current CMI (Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) Agreement that would otherwise expire in March 2015. Management expects to execute definitive agreements before the end of 2014.
Joe Hete, president and chief executive officer of ATSG, said, “After many months of discussions, I’m pleased to say that both we and DHL have completed the outline for a relationship that preserves our role as DHL’s principal source of airlift in North America for another four years. Overall, our work for DHL will continue much as it does today, with 767 freighters leased from our Cargo Aircraft Management subsidiary, operated by ABX Air crews and maintained by AMES technicians, supporting the majority of the air freight that moves through DHL’s North American network each day. We look forward to providing more details on this important extension of our eleven-year relationship with DHL when final agreements are completed.”
Hete also said that ATSG’s 3Q results show early returns from deploying more midsize cargo aircraft with dry-lease customers, and continued progress in restoring the profitability of ATSG’s airlines.
“We have entered the fourth quarter with positive momentum, both from deployments under dry lease agreements we completed in May, and contracts for expanded ad-hoc operations during the holiday season in the fourth quarter. We expect all of our available freighter aircraft to be deployed with key customers during the holiday shipping peak. Looking out into 2015, we find our customers and prospects are now more confident about addressing their needs for additional freighter capacity next year, both for multi-year dry leases as well as shorter-term ACMI arrangements.”