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Atlas Air Worldwide to acquire another Boeing 747-800F freighter, provides a fleet update

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo) (New York) 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.

Atlas Air Worldwide logo

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.

Atlas Air logo

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.

Fleet Plan Update

By year-end 2015, Atlas Air Worldwide’s cargo operations are expected to include ten 747-800Fs and 23 747-400 freighters. It also expects to have two 747-400s and three 767-300s providing passenger service to the U.S. 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.

In other news, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings announced the placement of an additional Boeing 747-400 freighter into ACMI service.Polar Air Cargo logo

The aircraft will be operated by Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. to expand its express network for the benefit of DHL Express. Operations are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2015.

DHL logo (LRW)

 

When the new service begins, Polar’s express network will consist of six 747-8Fs and seven 747-400Fs in ACMI on behalf of DHL and Polar’s other customers. Atlas also will continue to operate a fleet of eleven Boeing 767 Freighters in CMI service for DHL, including nine in North America and two in the Asia-Pacific region.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-87UF N852GT (msn 37571) of Atlas Air taxies at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Atlas Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Polar Air Cargo aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings reports 2Q adjusted net income of $15.9 million

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo) (New York) reported adjusted net income of $15.9 million for the second quarter.

The company issued this statement:

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services, announced adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $15.9 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2014, compared with $20.4 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2013.

On a reported basis, net income attributable to common stockholders in the second quarter of 2014 totaled $29.6 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, compared with $20.1 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

“We are off to a good start in 2014. Airfreight demand is improving, and we are encouraged about our full-year outlook,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As we continue to gather additional insight into second-half yields, demand and military requirements, we are maintaining our full-year earnings framework.”

Mr. Flynn added: “Atlas is an entrepreneurial company. Our second-quarter results illustrate the positive contributions being generated by the investments we’ve made and the initiatives we’ve undertaken. In the face of an uncertain airfreight market and an anticipated decline in military cargo demand, we have diversified our business mix and are driving business resilience.

“Results within our ACMI segment are benefiting from modern 747-8 freighters as well as an increase in flying for our CMI customers. In Dry Leasing, the investments we’ve made since early 2013 in attractive 777 freighters on long-term leases with strong customers are driving a significant increase in contribution from highly predictable revenue and earnings streams.

“In addition, the expansion of our 767 platform and our growth into military and commercial passenger charter operations are providing added strength, complementing the improvement in airfreight demand.

“Led by the strength of our brand, our global market leadership in outsourced aircraft assets and services, and our ability to work closely with our customers as they enhance their route networks and grow their businesses, we are well-positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and improvement – and to continue our focus on longer-term business growth.”

Adjusted earnings in the second quarter of 2014 exclude an income tax benefit of $24.0 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, due to beneficial tax planning related to the tax treatment of extraterritorial income. This was partly offset by a noncash loss of $9.4 million after tax, or $0.37 per diluted share, resulting from the trade-in of used spare engines for new engines under the company’s engine-acquisition program, as well as additional charges totaling $1.0 million after tax, or $0.04 per diluted share, which were primarily related to the company’s U.K. affiliate, Global Supply Systems Limited.

Adjusted earnings in the second quarter of 2013 exclude an after-tax loss of $0.6 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, on the early extinguishment of debt, partly offset by an after-tax gain of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, on the disposal of aircraft.

Second-Quarter Results

Profitability in our ACMI business during the second quarter reflected an increase in 747-8F revenue and an increase in CMI flying, offset by higher maintenance expense for aircraft operating in this segment.

ACMI revenues benefited from an increase in our average rate per block hour driven by our 747-8Fs, but were impacted by a decline in block-hour volumes related to the return of three 8Fs from British Airways in April and early May. This decline was partially offset by the placement of two of the 8Fs with DHL Express in May, the start-up of ACMI 8F flying for BST Logistics in February 2014 and Etihad in May 2013, as well as the start-up of ACMI 747-400 flying for Astral Aviation in September 2013. Block-hour volumes during the second quarter also reflected an increase in CMI Dreamlifter flying for Boeing and the initiation of CMI 767-200 passenger aircraft service for MLW Air during the third quarter of 2013.

In Dry Leasing, revenue and profitability grew following the addition of three 777F aircraft in January 2014 and two in July 2013, which raised our 777F fleet count to six. Each of these aircraft are leased to customers on a long-term basis.

In AMC Charter, results benefited from an increase in the volume of passenger flying on higher-yielding 747-400 aircraft, partially offset by a decrease in demand for cargo flying. Segment results in Commercial Charter reflected a decrease in market rates and increases in maintenance and crewmember travel expense, partially offset by an increase in block-hour volumes.

Reported earnings for the period reflected an effective income tax rate benefit of 461.0%, driven by tax-planning efforts regarding a federal income tax benefit related to the treatment of extraterritorial income from the offshore leasing of certain of our aircraft.

Half-Year Results

For the six months ended June 30, 2014, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $27.3 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared with $26.3 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2013.

On a reported basis, first-half 2014 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $37.5 million, or $1.49 per diluted share, compared with $40.1 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, in the first half of 2013.

Cash and Short-Term Investments

At June 30, 2014, our cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash totaled $299.2 million, compared with $339.2 million at December 31, 2013.

The change in position reflected cash provided by operating and financing activities offset by cash used for investing activities.

Net cash used for investing activities during the first half of 2014 primarily related to the purchase of three 777F aircraft for our Dry Leasing business.

Net cash provided by financing activities primarily reflected proceeds from the issuance of debt in connection with the acquisitions of these aircraft. Those proceeds were partially offset by payments on debt obligations and debt issuance costs.

Outlook

We are encouraged by our performance in the first half of 2014 and the positive direction of market trends so far this year.

Airfreight volumes continue to improve, and recent forecasts suggest that airfreight demand may grow by several percentage points in 2014 – the first real growth after three essentially flat years. Airfreight yields continue to lag behind, however, and there is still limited visibility into peak-season yields, demand and second-half military requirements. As a result, we are maintaining our earnings outlook for the full year.

On a sequential basis, per-share earnings in the third quarter of this year should improve over our adjusted second-quarter results by an increment similar to the increase between our first- and second-quarter adjusted earnings.

For the full year, we expect total block hours to be comparable to 2013, with more than 70% in ACMI, approximately 10% in AMC Charter, and the balance in Commercial Charter. Our Dry Leasing segment should show dramatic growth compared with 2013. While our share of military flying, mainly in passenger service, has increased due to a reduction in the number of carriers serving the market and our ability to capitalize on additional flying opportunities, we continue to expect an overall decline in military demand, primarily in cargo, compared with 2013.

We also expect aircraft maintenance expense to total approximately $180 million in 2014, with depreciation of approximately $120 to $125 million. Core capital expenditures this year are expected to total approximately $45 to $50 million, mainly for spare parts for our expanded fleet.

We remain confident in the resilience of our business model, as well as our ability to adapt to the market and to leverage the scale and efficiencies in our operations. The business initiatives we have undertaken and the investments we have made have enabled the company to deliver meaningful earnings in any environment.

Should 2014 be the inflection point when growth returns to commercial airfreight and yields improve, our business initiatives and the investments we have made have positioned Atlas to be one of the prime beneficiaries.

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

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-87UF N852GT (msn 37571) of Atlas Air taxies at Anchorage, AK.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Polar Air Cargo: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air issues a statement concerning its General Electric GEnc-2B engines

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Atlas Air) (New York) today issued the following statement in response to inquiries about the General Electric GEnx-2B engines serving the company’s Boeing 747-8 Freighter fleet:

“Atlas Air Worldwide’s industry leadership and our operations are based on a deep commitment to and a track record of safety, compliance and security.

Reflecting our commitment and track record, we have worked closely and continually with General Electric regarding the GEnx-2B engines serving our new Boeing 747-8 Freighters, five of which are currently in service and four of which remain to be delivered to us.

In conjunction with GE, we established a plan to inspect each of the engines serving our existing 747-8s and will work with GE to inspect the engines that will power our remaining 747-8 deliveries.

To date, the inspections have not uncovered any issues with our engines and have not resulted in any loss of flying time by our 747-8 Freighters.

We have also worked with GE to establish a plan to re-inspect each of our GEnx-2B engines at appropriate intervals.

Future periodic inspections of our GEnx engines are planned to be carried out during regularly scheduled maintenance checks on our 747-8 aircraft.

As a result, we do not expect re-inspections of our GEnx engines to disrupt our ability to continue to provide safe, value-added 747-8F service to our customers.

As always, reflecting our commitment to and our track record of safety, compliance and security leadership, we will fully comply with any and all directives issued by the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators with respect to the operation of our aircraft.”

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. The first new Boeing 747-800F freighter in full Atlas Air colors is seen at Paine Field near Everett, WA. 747-87UF (msn 37571) prepares to depart from PAE and will be delivered later this month.

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