WILMINGTON — Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) reported solid growth in revenues and earnings for first quarter 2020 compared to first quarter 2019.
Compared with first quarter 2019, customer revenues were up 12 percent, or $41.1 million, to $389.3 million.
ATSG Chairman of the Board Joe Hete said, “The flexibility and resilience of ATSG’s business model again proved its value, as the company responded to rapidly changing business conditions with the speed and attention to detail that its customers demand, while generating solid financial results overall.
“As an example, our aircraft maintenance technicians on short notice completed avionics adjustments to the New England Patriot’s 767 aircraft that enabled it to fly to China to pick up more than 1 million masks for health care workers in Massachusetts,” said Hete.
“Similarly, our airlines’ pilots, flight attendants and line maintenance techs are answering the call from their global customers to maintain the flow of vital supplies and personnel under very challenging conditions. Despite the pandemic, we remain cautiously optimistic about the rest of 2020, as we deploy more 767 converted freighters for customers responding to expanded e-commerce shopping, and operate passenger aircraft to support the U.S. military’s evolving requirements,” Hete added.
During the second quarter ATSG’s subsidiary air carriers, Omni Air International (Omni), a passenger carrier, and Air Transport International (ATI), a passenger and cargo carrier, each submitted an application for worker-protection grant funds available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”). On April 24, Omni was notified that its application for funds under the Payroll Support Program had received preliminary approval for approximately $67 million, to be paid in five monthly installments through September 2020.
ATI’s application for a grant under the Payroll Support Program remained pending as of May 5.
An ATSG news release stated, “Our subsidiary air carriers intend to use any such funds to maintain their respective airlines’ staffing necessary to serve the Department of Defense and commercial customers during an extended period of economic uncertainty stemming from the pandemic.”
ATSG Chief Executive Officer Rich Corrado said, “We are staying in constant contact with our principal customers as the pandemic continues. Today [in early May] they are telling us that they intend to continue to use our aircraft and other resources largely in line with their earlier expectations, including plans to lease seven to nine more of our newly converted 767s this year.”
Corrado added, “Most of our cargo aircraft continue to operate within expanding time-definite express networks as e-commerce transactions accelerate during the pandemic. Demand for our passenger aircraft, however, is expected to remain sensitive to pandemic-driven changes in the U.S. military’s troop deployment and rotation plans, and reductions in operations for Omni commercial customers through 2020.”
ATSG’s new CEO continued, “We take pride in providing essential air transport services to the global economy, and we are confident that ATSG will support the needs of its customers no matter how the pandemic requires us to adapt. … Better days are ahead for all of us, including our shareholders.”