Southern Air

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Southern Air
Southern Air Logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1947 as Southern Air Transport
Commenced operations November 1999
Fleet size 10
Destinations Global
Parent company Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings
Headquarters Florence, Kentucky, United States
Key people Daniel McHugh (CEO),
James Walsh,
Thomas Gillies

Southern Air Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, is a global air cargo carrier headquartered in Florence, Kentucky.[1] It is a certified U.S. FAA part 121 supplemental cargo carrier and is one of only two U.S.-based cargo airlines operating the 777F. Southern Air is also the first company to provide ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) service for the wide-body Boeing 777F.

The airline operates an all-Boeing fleet of aircraft: Boeing 777F, and the Boeing 737-400SF. Its wide range of services includes: long-term ACMI, on-demand commercial charters, as well as Department of Defense Civil Reserve Air Fleet. Southern Air’s operations also support some of the world’s largest combination carriers as well as government agencies and non-government organizations.


The airline was established on 5 March 1999 by James Neff, out of the assets of Southern Air Transport and started operations in November 1999.

On September 7, 2007, Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired majority ownership of Southern Air and merged Cargo 360 into the airline. The company currently has approximately 750 employees.

In February and March 2010, Southern Air took delivery of two Boeing 777 freighters. At the same time, reflecting the change in direction provided by fresh corporate leadership, Southern Air introduced new aircraft livery as well as new corporate branding.

In early 2011, Southern Air entered into a multiple year contract with DHL Aviation; by utilizing the 777's fuel efficiencies, long range and cargo capabilities, Southern Air was able to augment DHL's overnight express package delivery service through hubs in Cincinnati, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Anchorage, increasing package delivery options provided by DHL to its customers.

The same year Southern Air announced plans to gradually retire the fleet of Boeing 747-200 and 747-300 with 747-400BDSF models.[2]

In addition to DHL, Southern Air flies charter contracts for Lufthansa Cargo, MASkargo, Ethiopian Airlines, Saudia, TNT, UPS (seasonal) Centurion Air Cargo and the United States Department of Defense.[3]

On 28 September 2012, Southern Air voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the support of a majority of their key financial stakeholders. Southern emerged from bankruptcy in early 2013.

In 2014, Southern Air took delivery of five 737-400SF passenger-to-cargo converted aircraft.[4]

On April 7, 2016, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings purchased Southern Air for $110 million in an all-cash deal.[5] The transaction included Worldwide Air Logistics Group, Inc. and its two operating subsidiaries, Southern Air, Inc. and Florida West International Airways, Inc. Southern Air will continue to operate in Florence, Kentucky and Florida West will continue to operate in Miami.[6]

In 2017 Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings closed Florida West International Airways and cancelled its operating certificates.


Southern Air fleet[7]
Aircraft In service Orders Notes
Boeing 737-400SF 5 2 Operated for DHL Aviation
Boeing 777F 5 Operated for DHL Aviation[8]
Total 10 -


  1. ^ "Contact Us." Southern Air. Retrieved on August 10, 2014. "Southern Air Inc. 7310 Turfway Road, Suite 400 Florence, KY 41042"
  2. ^ "Southern Air to start replacing 747 Classics with 747-400BDSF". 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  3. ^ "In the News Detail". 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  4. ^ "AEI DELIVERS THIRD DHL B737-400SF 11 PALLET CONVERSION TO SOUTHERN AIR" (PDF). 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  5. ^ "Atlas completes Southern Air purchase as strike threat looms - Air Cargo World". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Atlas Air Worldwide to Acquire Southern Air Holdings Inc". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Southern Air Fleet Details and History - Just Aviation". Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Production List Search - Just Aviation". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 

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