Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG), the leading provider of medium wide-body aircraft leasing, air transportation and related services, has announced an agreement to lease twelve additional Boeing 767-300 converted freighter aircraft to Amazon.com Services LLC.
One of the twelve aircraft was delivered on May 29, 2020 and the remaining eleven will be delivered in 2021. All twelve will be leased to Amazon for ten years, with options for Amazon to extend the leases for three additional years.
Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), ATSG’s aircraft leasing subsidiary, currently leases twenty-seven 767 aircraft to Amazon, including six leased during 2019. In December 2018, Amazon committed to lease those six plus an additional four 767s from CAM by the end of 2020. The agreement announced today increases the projected number of 767s CAM will have leased to Amazon to 31 by the end of 2020 and to 42 by the end of 2021.
Widebody Boeing 767 freighters have become the preeminent midsize component of regional air-cargo networks over the last ten years, and ATSG is the world’s largest lessor of that aircraft type. ATSG expects to end 2020 with seventy-eight owned 767 freighter aircraft in operation, seventy-one of which will be leased to eleven external customers.
Note: The aircraft will be operated by ATI. ATI is a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group, Inc.
ATI was founded in 1978 as US Airways. In January 1980 the airline (renamed Interstate Airlines) became an FAR Part 121 certificated all-cargo airline flying Convair 580s. Its fleet quickly expanded to include Lockheed L-188 Electra, Boeing 727, and McDonnell-Douglas DC-8 aircraft. The airline flew freight domestically for Purolator, Emery, and ad hoc charters. In 1984 the airline began flying internationally. It moved its headquarters from Michigan to Arkansas. In 1988 the airline adopted its current name.
Through the 1990s and 2000s ATI hauled freight for the Military Airlift Command (Air Mobility Command), UPS, Emery Air Freight, Burlington Air Express, DHL, and Zantop International Airlines. The airline had over 500 employees and operated 32 DC-8s. As a long-term member of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), ATI was among the airlines activated in 1990 to support Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield and received several commendations for its performance.
In October 1994, ICX International Cargo Express was merged with ATI. The airline was purchased by BAX Global, an operating unit of the Brink’s Company, in February 1998.
In 2006, ATI was sold to Cargo Holdings International, Inc. (CHI), which was itself acquired by ABX Holdings, Inc. the following year. In 2008, parent company ABX Holdings was renamed Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG). ATI added its first Boeing 767 in 2008.
In March 2013, Capital Cargo International Airlines was merged with ATI. During the same year, ATI replaced its DC-8 Combi aircraft with more modern Boeing 757 Combi aircraft.
Today, the airline’s fleet consists exclusively of Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft, allowing all of its flight crews to share a common type rating.
The company’s principal customers today include the US military, DHL, and Amazon Fulfillment Services, Inc. (Prime Air).
Top Copyright Photo: Prime Air (ATI) Boeing 767-319 ER (F) WL N419AZ (msn 26913) ONT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 950258.
Prime Air-ATI aircraft slide show: