Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings announced a loan agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China that the freighter operator said signals a stronger focus on business ties to Asia.
“Our loan with ICBC confirms our view that the Asia-Pacific region, led by China, will drive global air cargo industry growth over the next decade,” AAWH President and CEO William J. Flynn said in a statement.
Atlas did not disclose terms of the loan, but said it would back the purchase of a 757-200 converted freighter by Atlas subsidiary Titan Aviation Leasing. Titan will lease the aircraft to Shanghai Airlines.
Although the loan does not involve the large fleet of 747 freighters Atlas Air operates and has on order, the specialist in outsourced freighter operations suggested more financial ties in the future to a bank that reportedly is one of China’s two largest commercial lenders.
“We are very pleased to initiate a relationship with ICBC,” said Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAWW. “ICBC is a leading bank in China, one of the world’s biggest commercial banks, and is expected to play an increasingly larger role in aviation finance in the future.”