Atlas Air Expands Into Military Passenger Charter Service


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Atlas Air Expands Into Military Passenger Charter Service

By Bill Goldston

May 2, 2011 - Atlas Air a provider of air cargo services announced that it has been approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to begin providing passenger charter service for U.S. military personnel, complementing the company’s long-time position as a premier supplier of military cargo charter solutions. The new service is expected to start in May. 

Atlas Air will begin operating the passenger charter service for the Defense Department’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) using a Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft acquired under an operating lease.  

“AMC passenger service is an exciting expansion of our business,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide.

“Our entry into passenger service for the U.S. military leverages the experience of our long-standing service in AMC cargo operations, our knowledge of the areas of activity and our success in providing premium, private-charter, passenger CMI operations for SonAir. These created a low-risk, low-cost entry opportunity for us.”

Mr. Flynn added, “We expect modest levels of military-passenger flying in 2011, which will increase in 2012. We anticipate a moderate earnings impact this year considering the hours of activity and the start-up costs we have incurred since January. Each hour we fly is an hour of growth for us and is part of our strategy to mitigate any reduction in AMC cargo demand.  

“As a large percentage of flying is entitlement driven, we will size our fleet and operations to meet anticipated demand. Since approximately 95% of U.S. troops move via commercial air carriers, there should be a good level of sustained passenger demand. We foresee meaningful earnings growth from AMC passenger operations in 2012 and beyond.”  

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc. (Atlas) and Titan Aviation Leasing (Titan), and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo. Through Atlas and Polar, AAWW operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft.

Atlas, Titan and Polar offer a range of air cargo assets and outsourced aviation operating services and solutions that include ACMI service in which customers receive an aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance on a long-term basis; CMI service, for customers that provide their own aircraft; express network and scheduled air cargo service; military charters; commercial cargo charters; and dry leasing of aircraft and engines.

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