Atlas Air Worldwide on aggressive fleet expansion
JUNE 27, 2015: The Nasdaq-listed Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings recently provided a fleet update highlighting initiatives taken to respond to market demand and customer requirements. “We are seeing good demand for airfreight and for our aircraft and services,” said William J Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide. “We are also working closely with our customers to provide them with the most efficient aircraft to meet their needs. “As prudent asset managers, our approach to business growth remains disciplined. We have managed our fleet aggressively. And we will utilize proceeds from our recent convertible note issuance to refinance higher cost debt, which will enable us to reduce aircraft ownership costs and increase fleet flexibility.” Based on the improved airfreight environment and customer demand, Atlas Air Worldwide has agreed to acquire a new 747-8 freighter from Boeing with delivery scheduled for November 2015. Prior to its expected placement in longer-term ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) service, the company intends to deploy the aircraft in profitable charter operations, taking advantage of the aircraft's superior fuel efficiency, range, capacity and loading capabilities. To meet additional charter demand, Atlas Air Worldwide is also returning an owned and unencumbered 747-400 converted freighter to active service. The aircraft is resuming operations this month. At the same time, the company has entered into a short-term operating lease expected to begin in late June for a second 747-400 converted freighter. This lease is intended to replace a similar aircraft, with a lease that expires this month, on terms that are more favorable to the company. In addition, the company has expanded its Titan Dry Leasing portfolio by acquiring two Boeing 767 aircraft. These will be leased to DHL Express following their conversion from passenger to freighter configuration in the fourth quarter of this year. They complement a Boeing 757 Freighter recently dry leased to DHL by Titan following the conclusion of a previous customer lease. By year-end 2015, Atlas Air Worldwide's cargo operations are expected to include ten 747-8Fs and 23 747-400 freighters. It also expects to have two 747-400s and three 767-300s providing passenger services to the US military and other charter customers. In addition, the company expects to operate at least 18 customer-owned aircraft in its CMI (crew, maintenance and insurance) operations. These operations include four 747 Large Cargo Freighters for Boeing, two VIP-configured 747-400 passenger aircraft for SonAir, eleven 767 freighters for DHL Express, and one VIP-configured 767 passenger aircraft for MLW Air. In Dry Leasing, the company anticipates its portfolio to include at least 11 aircraft, including six 777 freighters, two 767 freighters, one 757 freighter, one 737 freighter, and one 737 passenger aircraft.