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ATSG expands credit line for all-cargo plane transactions

Deeper funds for more 767s (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Cargo airline Air Transport Services Group (NASDAQ:ATSG) announced on May 28 that its lenders, led by SunTrust Bank, have agreed to add one year to the airline’s secured credit line and to increase its revolving line of credit to $645 million, a $100 million bump.

ATSG, based in Wilmington, Ohio, plans to acquire 13 Boeing 767-300 aircraft during 2019. Of those, nine will be converted to freighter configuration this year and be leased to e-tailer, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and transport and logistics company UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS). Five will be leased to Amazon and four to UPS, according to an ATSG spokesman.

Last December, ATSG said it would acquire 20 of the extended-range airplanes and lease 10 of them to Amazon, once the aircraft were converted to freighters. The two companies also deepened their financial ties, with ATSG issuing warrants to Amazon that could boost its ownership in ATSG to 39.9 percent should Amazon lease 17 more aircraft by January 2026.

In freighter form, each plane can fly 3,100 nautical miles with a full payload of 125,900 pounds. The plane is classified as a mid-range, mid-size model, and is designed to support rapid deliveries mostly of e-commerce orders.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.