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Amazon adds Atlas to ATSG aircraft

PURCHASE, NY: May 05, 2016. Amazon.com is to lease 20 B767-300 converted freighters from Atlas Air for seven to 10 years beginning in the second half of 2016.

In an echo of the Air Transport Services Group deal in March this year (Amazon takes to the air), Amazon has been granted warrants to acquire up to 20 percent of Atlas parent Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWI) over a five-year period at US$37.50 a share and a further 10 percent of the company over seven years.

ATLAS AIR 767As of April 2016, AAWI had a total of 15 B767 freighters on ACMI and dry lease with DHL Express, one to Florida West, and three more in the process of conversion from passenger to freighter units, according to company data. The new agreement with Amazon makes no mention of where the additional 20 aircraft will come from.

Commenting on the deal, AAWI president and CEO William Flynn said: “We are excited to begin a strategic long-term relationship with Amazon to support the continuing expansion of its e-commerce business and to enhance its customer delivery capabilities.”

AAWI also reported Q1 revenue of US$418.6 million - down from US$444.8 in the same period last year - and net income of just US$471,000 compared to US$29.2 million in Q1 2015.

The company said its reported results included a special charge for aircraft engines held for sale and also reflected an effective income tax rate of 42.8 percent due mainly to nondeductible acquisition-related expenses incurred in connection with the acquisition of Southern.

“Our first-quarter adjusted EPS was in line with our expectations and our outlook for adjusted EPS growth in 2016, including the immediate earnings contribution we expect from our acquisition of Southern Air Holdings, which we closed on April 07,” commented Flynn.

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