Atlas Air

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Atlas Air
Atlas Air Logo.svg
Founded 1992
Hubs Miami International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Anchorage International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Huntsville International Airport
Fleet size 47
Destinations 101
Headquarters Purchase, New York
Key people William J. Flynn (President & CEO)
Revenue IncreaseUS$1.40B (FY 2011)[1]
Operating income IncreaseUS$171M (FY 2011)[1]
Net income IncreaseUS$96.1M (FY 2011)[1]
Total assets IncreaseUS$2.39B (FY 2011)[2]
Total equity IncreaseUS$1.14B (FY 2011)[2]
Atlas Air Boeing 747-200
Atlas Air Boeing 747-400F in Emirates SkyCargo colours
Atlas Air Dreamlifter at Anchorage International Airport in 2011.
An Atlas Air Boeing 747-400F on final approach to Sydney Airport in 2005.

Atlas Air, Inc., is an American cargo and passenger charter airline based in Purchase, Harrison, New York.[3] It operates scheduled freight flights on a wet lease basis for some of the world's leading airlines, flying to 101 cities in 46 countries.[4] Its crew bases include Miami International Airport, New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Anchorage International Airport, Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and Huntsville International Airport.[5] The parent company is Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWW).


The airline was founded in April 1992 by the late Pakistani American aerospace enthusiast Michael Chowdry, to specialise in the long-term contract outsourcing of its Boeing 747 aircraft. It started operations in 1993 with one Boeing 747 and contracted by China Airlines. In 1995 Atlas began trading publicly on the NASDAQ, and in 1997 appeared on the New York Stock Exchange. An initial public offering of 4 million shares was made in August 1998. In 2001 the airline introduced a new program of leasing and services, based on the Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance(ACMI) model. Under this new program, Atlas Air cargo planes would be available to other airlines for operations such as charter flights. In July 2004 Atlas Air completed its restructuring plan and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[4] Recently, AAWWH announced that DHL has bought long term rights to carry some of its cargo on Polar's aircraft.

In March 2010 Atlas Air was awarded a nine-year contract for the operation of the Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter (LCF) 'Dreamlifter' for transporting aircraft parts to Boeing from suppliers around the world. It commenced operation in September 2010.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQAAWW) wholly owns Atlas Air,[4] Polar Air Cargo (51%), and a share of Global Supply Systems (49%). As a result of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings' acquisition of Polar in November 2001, the Atlas and Polar fleets are staffed by the same group of pilots (as of January 1, 2012).[6] However, for marketing reasons the Polar brand will remain distinct. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings is a public company with 1725 employees and 630 million USD market capitalization.[7]

The airline was named after Atlas, a Titan in Greek mythology, who carried the heavens on his shoulders. Their symbol on the plane's tail is a golden man carrying a golden world.

Passenger service[edit]

In October 2009, Atlas Air was selected to operate an outsourced premium passenger private charter service for the U.S.-Africa Energy Association (USAEA). The Agreement to operate the charter was reached with SonAir—Serviço Aéreo, S.A. (SonAir), acting as agent for the USAEA.

This new service replaced World Airways in May 2010, and Atlas operates the charter service with two newly customized Boeing 747-400 aircraft provided by SonAir's parent company. The aircraft are laid out to serve 189 passengers and consists of a 3 class configuration.

The charter service, which has become known as the "Houston Express", includes three dedicated weekly non-stop flights between Houston and Luanda, Angola. While it is not open to the public, it provides USAEA members with a premium non-stop transportation link to support complex long-term projects in the West African energy sector.[8]

The airline also charters service with a pair of 747-400's configured with 474 seats and a trio of 767-300ER's with 255 seats as of June 2012.

Safety issues[edit]

During early 2010, an Atlas Air aircraft was involved in a safety and maintenance incident. In February, the cover of part of the flap assembly on a Boeing 747 detached from the aircraft, which was in the process of landing in Miami, Florida. On 17 May, a similar incident occurred; in this case, part of the inboard flaps on the right wing of a Boeing 747 separated from the aircraft. Due to alleged improper maintenance practices, the US Federal Aviation Administration on 5 May proposed a roughly $500,000 fine against the airline. The airline is fighting the allegations.[9]


Both Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo carry freight worldwide, including destinations throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Pacific, as well as Latin America. Specific destinations vary due to changing customer's needs and seasonal air cargo trends.


The combined Atlas Air/Polar Air Cargo fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 12.8 years (as of March 2014):[10][11]

Atlas Air / Polar Air Cargo Combined Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Notes
Boeing 747-400 4 2 operated for SonAir
2 for charter w/ 474 seats
Boeing 747-400BCF 4 Operating ad hoc charters; 2 operating
Boeing 747-400F 17 8 operated for DHL, of which 4 of which are in hybrid Polar Air Cargo / DHL livery, 2 are in standard Polar Air Cargo livery,
and 2 are in Atlas Air livery[12][13]
1 operated for Etihad Cargo
3 operated for Qantas Freight
7 operate Miami-South America routes or other ad hoc charter
Boeing 747 Dreamlifter 4 Operated for Boeing
Boeing 747-8F 6 2 operated for Panalpina; 2 operated for DHL; 1 operated for Etihad Airways
Boeing 767-200F 5 Operating for DHL Aviation
Boeing 767-200 1
Boeing 767-300ERF 2 Operating for DHL Express[14]
Boeing 767-300ER 3 1 Operating ad hoc charter, as seen in this photo: N641GT
Total 42 1


  1. ^ a b c Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest.
  2. ^ a b Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest.
  3. ^ "Investor Information." Atlas Air. Retrieved on August 6, 2011. "AAWW Investor Relations 2000 Westchester Avenue Purchase, NY 10577-2543"
  4. ^ a b c "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 80. 
  5. ^ "Atlas | Charter". Airline Pilot Central. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  6. ^ Karp, Aaron (2011-10-25). "Atlas, Polar pilots integrated under new labor pact". ATWOnline. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  7. ^ "Company Profile for Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW)". Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  8. ^ "Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  9. ^ "Miami flight signals more mechanical issues for Atlas Air". 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Atlas Air - Fleet". Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  11. ^ "Polar Air Cargo - Fleet". Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  12. ^ "Photos: Polar Air Cargo". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  13. ^ "Photos: Boeing 747-46NF/SCD Aircraft Pictures". 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  14. ^ Business Wire, Motley Fool. "Atlas Air Worldwide Expands CMI Service". Daily Finance. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 

External links[edit]