WILMINGTON, Ohio, 19 Dec. 2012. Officials at Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), an aircraft leasing subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group Inc., are upgrading the company’s fleet with the addition of three Boeing 757-200 aircraft modified for combined passenger and main-deck cargo, or combi, service.
“The purchase of these three 757 combis from National, plus the one 757 combi we already own, will complete our commitment to replace our four McDonnell-Douglas DC-8 combis with more modern fuel-efficient aircraft that better meet the requirements of our principal combi customer, the U.S. Military’s United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM),” explains Joe Hete, president and CEO of ATSG.
The 757 combis have a 34 percent lower fuel burn, 10 more passenger seats, and the same number of cargo pallet positions as the DC-8 combis they will replace, according to a spokesperson. CAM will own and lease the combi aircraft to ATSG’s airline subsidiary Air Transport International (ATI) under ATI’s contract with USTRANSCOM.
The ATSG subsidiary will likely take delivery of one of the three 757 combi aircraft this month from National Air Cargo Group Inc.; the other two new 757s are expected in early 2013.
CAM is also purchasing a spare 757-200 engine and some ancillary aircraft equipment from National.
All three National combis were designed and modified to meet or exceed FAA and USTRANSCOM requirements, including Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS) certification essential for service to USTRANSCOM’s combi destinations.
Upon the retirements of the four DC-8 combis, ATSG’s fleet will consist entirely of 757-200, 767-200, and 767-300 aircraft, which require only two crew members and share a common pilot type rating.
“This purchase of the National 757 combi aircraft further enhances our position as the world’s largest independent provider of modern, fuel-efficient midsized cargo aircraft to customers around the world,” Hete adds.