ATS Sublets Hangar, Seeks CARES Aid To Weather Crisis

Credit: Lindsay Bjerregaard/Aviation Week

U.S. domestic daily flights dropped 90% from the first Friday of January 2020 to the second Friday of May, according to RadarBox, and this has hit U.S. independent MROs especially hard.

Included in this, along with other shops, is the major airframe division of ATS. The company is offering parking services and seeking federal assistance, but has had to cut back operations and furlough staff dramatically. 

Paul Dolan, president of airframe services, says demand for airframe and component MRO services is down approximately 30-40% from 2019. ATS is no longer operating one of its Everett, Washington, hangars, a 75,000 ft.2 facility, and has sublet it instead. “However, we are still operating our 250,000 ft.2 facility in Everett,” Dolan notes. 

The slowdown has also hit workers, but not quite proportionately. Through mid- to late-June, ATS has furloughed approximately 25% of its original 1,600-person workforce at locations in Everett; Kansas City, Missouri; and Dallas-Fort Worth. 

Dolan says ATS is following developing data, “which suggests traffic will be at significantly reduced levels for years, not months.” On the positive side, “there are some indications that aircraft and component MRO services will start to see initial increases in late June or early July as airlines return some of their fleets to service.

Meanwhile, ATS has offered parking services and is now parking 176 aircraft. These are a mixture of Boeing 737s, 767s and 787s and Airbus A320s and A321s. Parking is offered at airport hangar locations in Everett and Moses Lake, Washington, and at Kansas City.

ATS CEO Matt Yerbic says his company has applied for aid under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and has been in discussion with representatives from the U.S. Treasury Department. “We are anxiously awaiting further updates,” he says.