Amazon Air hires ATSG to fly six more freighters

Front-half of a white Amazon jet with the words "Amazon Prime" on the side. Amazon is giving more flying business to ATSG, an air cargo carrier.

Air Transport Services Group (NASDAQ: ATSG) will operate six more medium-size freighters for Amazon Air, operationalizing a lease agreement struck in late May, the company announced Wednesday.

ATSG subsidiary Air Transport International will fly the six Boeing 767 converted freighters under a preexisting contract with Amazon to provide crew, maintenance and insurance. Amazon is leasing the planes for 10 years from another ATSG company, Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), part of a deal this summer for 12 aircraft

The first leased freighter began operating under the Amazon banner in May, with the remainder scheduled to start work next year.

With the new flight award, ATSG projects that its airlines will operate 38 767s for Amazon Air by April 2021, 36 of which CAM leases to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).

A higher work tempo for Amazon due to increased e-commerce sales helped ATSG achieve a 20% increase in second-quarter pre-tax earnings.

Amazon’s chartered fleet numbers nearly 70 aircraft, but now it appears to have taken ownership of its first aircraft. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s aircraft registry database shows that Services registered a 767-300 on Aug. 31. It has also reserved four more registration numbers for future aircraft, FreightWaves confirmed.

Air Cargo News first reported Amazon Air’s aircraft purchase.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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