Air Transport Services Group


Announces Two-Year Award for Combi Flying

WILMINGTON, Ohio - August 2, 2012 - Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) today reported financial results as follows for the second quarter of 2012:

Summary GAAP Results          
    Quarter Ended June 30,     Six Months Ended June 30,
(in millions, except per-share amounts)   2012   2011   Chg.     2012   2011   Chg.
Revenues   $ 153.6     $ 193.1     $ (39.5)       $ 299.1     $ 368.2     $ (69.1)  
Pre-tax Earnings from Continuing Operations   $ 18.2     $ 19.7     $ (1.5)       $ 28.9     $ 24.2     $ 4.7  
Net Earnings from Continuing Operations   $ 11.2     $ 12.3     $ (1.1)       $ 17.9     $ 15.2     $ 2.7  
Earnings Per Share from Continuing Operations   $ 0.17     $ 0.19     $ (0.02)       $ 0.28     $ 0.24     $ 0.04  
Adjusted (non-GAAP) Results *                          
Revenues excluding Reimbursed Expenses   $ 133.2     $ 143.4     $ (10.2)       $ 261.8     $ 274.3     $ (12.5)
Adjusted Pre-tax Earnings from Continuing Operations   $ 18.0     $ 19.3     $ (1.3)       $ 28.3     $ 30.7     $ (2.4)  
Adjusted EBITDA from Continuing Operations   $ 43.1     $ 46.7     $ (3.6)       $ 77.2     $ 84.5     $ (7.3)  

* A table defining and reconciling adjusted results to comparable GAAP measures is provided at the end of this release.

"Our results for the second quarter are indicative of both our good internal progress toward reorganizing our ACMI Services operations, and the uncertain economic conditions that are causing some regional customers to prolong the commitment process,"Joe Hete, President and CEO of ATSG, said. “While our business with global carriers like DHL continues to expand, regional market conditions are proving challenging to other customers. But we can still deploy our unique assets, complementary services, and leverage our strong balance sheet to adapt and grow as market conditions change because of our dominant global market share of mid-sized 767 freighters in a mix of long-term dry leases or shorter-term ACMI operating agreements."

Earnings for the first half of 2011 included an aggregate $6.8 million in net charges related to the 2011 refinancing of ATSG's credit facilities. Adjusted EBITDA from Continuing Operations excludes the effect of these items. Revenues also include reimbursement of certain expenses, particularly fuel, from some of ATSG's customers, including $35.0 million in reimbursement revenues in the second quarter of 2011 from former customer D.B. Schenker (Schenker), a North American logistics company.

Operating Results

Aircraft Leasing

Pre-tax earnings for Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) were $16.7 million, up 22 percent from the year-earlier period. Revenues increased 16 percent to $38.1 million compared to the same period a year ago. CAM's second-quarter revenues and pre-tax earnings reflect a $0.7 million reserve for unpaid rent associated with a Boeing 767-200 freighter under dry lease to a regional air carrier.

At the end of June, CAM owned 54 aircraft in serviceable condition, including 21 leased to external customers and 32 leased to its ATSG airline affiliates. Additionally, ATSG airlines operate six freighters (four Boeing 767-200s, and two 767-300s) under operating leases with third parties. During the recent second quarter, ATSG added three Boeing 767-300 freighter aircraft. ATSG's aircraft fleet at year-end 2011, at June 30, 2012, and its current outlook for aircraft in service at the end of 2012 are summarized in a table at the end of this release.

ACMI Services

Second quarter revenues for ATSG's airline operations were $101.3 million, excluding fuel and other reimbursed expenses, down from $115.1 million in the second quarter of 2011. The second-quarter pre-tax loss of $1.6 million was down from a $4.6 million pre-tax profit in the second quarter of 2011, but a $6.6 million improvement from the first quarter of 2012.

Results for the second quarter of 2011 included $25.0 million in airline services revenues from Schenker. As previously reported, Schenker ended its North American air freight network agreements with ATSG in the second half of 2011. Decreased segment results for the second quarter of 2012 primarily reflect the loss of the Schenker business and delays in customer commitments to ATSG aircraft.

ATSG is reorganizing its two airlines that served Schenker. The operations of Air Transport International (ATI) and Capital Cargo International Airlines (CCIA) are being combined, with CCIA's operations expected to merge into ATI by the end of 2012. Significant savings in these operations have already been achieved, as personnel expenses at ATI and CCIA have been reduced 24 percent from second-quarter 2011 levels. Further overhead expense reductions are expected in the second half, offset in part by expenses related to the reorganization.

On a sequential-quarter basis, the $6.6 million improvement in ACMI Services' pre-tax earnings from the first quarter of 2012 included stronger results from all three airline affiliates. More than two-thirds of that improvement came from ATI and CCIA, including a combination of increased revenues and net savings from the reorganization.

In June, ATI began operating three Boeing 767-200 freighters for DHL in the Middle East, bringing the total number of 767s in service for DHL in that region to four. It was originally anticipated that these three aircraft would go into service in the first quarter. Also, in June, ABX Air began to operate one 767-200 and one 767-300 freighter for DHL in the U.S.

First-half ACMI Services results also were affected by higher employee pension and engine maintenance expenses, and delays in aircraft deployments. Second-quarter ACMI block hours were down 15 percent overall from a year ago, but increased 15 percent excluding block hours operated for Schenker in the second quarter of 2011.

Other Activities

Second quarter revenues from ATSG's other businesses rose 5 percent from the second quarter of 2011 to $26.7 million before the elimination of inter-company results. Pre-tax profit from other activities totaled $3.2 million, nearly double the $1.7 million earned a year earlier. Higher revenues from ATSG's aircraft maintenance subsidiary (AMES) as well as the improved efficiency of mail sorting operations yielded improved results from those businesses.

Outlook for Second Half 2012

ATSG's outlook for the second half of 2012 remains positive overall, as revenues, earnings and cash flow (as measured by our Adjusted EBITDA), are all expected to improve compared with the first half of the year.

As noted above, ATI was awarded another two-year agreement for combi service beginning with the government's 2013 fiscal year in October, maintaining ATI's status as the military's sole source of combi service, primarily serving remote locations around the world.

Hete noted, "We are particularly proud to have been selected by the U.S. military to remain its exclusive supplier of combi service, and we look forward to the transition from our DC-8 combis to a more efficient 757-based combi fleet. The two-year revenue stream from the military validates our investment in the Boeing 757 platform and our plan to merge CCIA's Boeing 757 operation with ATI's military flying expertise."

Hete continued, "Our efforts to drive out costs while remaining prepared to seize new-business opportunities that achieve our investment return hurdles will continue. Our ACMI Services businesses are steadily recovering from the loss of our Schenker business, and weathering the impact of economic trends on our more regionally focused customers. We remain confident that we have the customer demand for our expanding fleet of modified aircraft. The delays in projected start dates, however, for 767 aircraft deployments are now significant enough that our previously issued guidance is no longer appropriate. We now expect Adjusted EBITDA from Continuing Operations for 2012 to be approximately $170 million. We will continue to aggressively pursue both cost savings and new business that can yield even stronger results in 2013 and beyond."

Conference Call

ATSG will host a conference call on Friday, August 3, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time to review its financial results for the second quarter of 2012. Participants should dial 800-591-6923 and international participants should dial 617- 614-4907 ten minutes before the scheduled start of the call and ask for conference pass code 55450067. The call also will be webcast live (listen-only mode) via the link below and for individual investors, and via for institutional investors.

A replay of the conference call will be available by phone on August 3, 2012, beginning at 2:00 p.m. and continuing through Friday, August 10, 2012, at 888-286-8010 (international callers 617-801-6888); use pass code 11883104. The webcast replay will remain available via the link below and for 30 days.

About ATSG

ATSG is a leading provider of aircraft leasing and air cargo transportation and related services to domestic and foreign air carriers and other companies that outsource their air cargo lift requirements. ATSG, through its leasing and airline subsidiaries, is the world's largest owner and operator of converted Boeing 767 freighter aircraft. Through its principal subsidiaries, including three airlines with separate and distinct U.S. FAA Part 121 Air Carrier certificates, ATSG provides aircraft leasing, air cargo lift, aircraft maintenance services and airport ground services. ATSG's subsidiaries include ABX Air, Inc.; Airborne Global Solutions, Inc.; Air Transport International, LLC; Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc.; Capital Cargo International Airlines, Inc.; and Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, Inc. For more information, please see

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There are a number of important factors that could cause Air Transport Services Group's ("ATSG's") actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, changes in market demand for our assets and services, the cost and timing associated with the modification and deployment of Boeing 767 and Boeing 757 aircraft, the availability and cost to acquire used passenger aircraft for freighter modification, ATSG's continuing ability to place modified aircraft into commercial service, ABX Air's ability to maintain on-time service and control costs under its operating agreement with DHL, ATSG's effectiveness in restructuring its airline operations affected by DB Schenker's restructuring of its U.S. air cargo operations, and other factors that are contained from time to time in ATSG's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers should carefully review this release and should not place undue reliance on ATSG's forwardlooking statements. These forward-looking statements were based on information, plans and estimates as of the date of this release. ATSG undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect changes in underlying assumptions or factors, new information, future events or other changes.

For more information, contact:
Air Transport Services Group, Inc.
Quint Turner
Chief Financial Officer