ATSG 767 fleet to grow by eight units this year

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Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), whose subsidiaries includes leasing entity Cargo Aircraft Management, and ACMI businesses Air Transport International and ABX Air, has disclosed plans to acquire eight Boeing 767-200/300s for conversion this year.

The Group is expanding its presence in large, fast-growing air cargo regions: Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. It says expanding its 767 freighter fleet will yield attractive, annuity-like cash return on investment via long-term leases.

Plans call for a 39 767-200F/300F aircraft fleet by year-end. As of 1 April 2011, ATSG's fleet included 18 767 under dry lease contracts, with DHL, CargoJet, Amerijet under three to seven years leases. Another 13 were under wet-lease/ACMI agreements.

Plans over the next nine months include the integration of three 767-300s and five 767-200s. The Group plans to integrate a 767-300 each remaining quarter this year while two 767-200Fs that are due in the second and third quarters, have been placed with RIO and DHL.

ASTG is acquiring aircraft for conversion and says the purchase price must be consistent with 10-12% return on investment capital criteria.

Capital requirements can be financed using existing cash and credit resources, says ASTG, which has secured a $325 million new five-year facility.