Atlas Air hopeful to get 747-8Fs for BA in Q4

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Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWH) is still hopeful to have three Boeing 747-8F aircraft in service during the fourth quarter of this year.

The three Boeing 747-8 freighters will be operated by British Airways' World Cargo division under a five-year wet-lease agreement, through Global Supply Systems, which is also 49%-owned by AAWH.

During an analyst conference call, President & CEO William Flynn reiterated that British Airways is firmly committed to the 747-8F and he believes that the current three 747-400F in operation with the UK-carrier could either stay with BA or will be leased to another lessee.

"We have low levels of renewals in 2011 and there is nothing exceptional in 2012 apart from the BA question," he says.

"Demand is good for both the 747-400F and 747-8F markets and AAWH is in good position," he adds.

SVP & CFO Spencer Schwartz says capital expenditure for the remainder of the year will be $86 million, but excludes purchase deposits and payments on the 747-8F which have been suspended.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Boeing have yet to agree to firm deliveries for the 12 Boeing 747-8Fs it has on order with the manufacturer. Flynn says AAWH is 'frustrated' by the delays but is confident that once the aircraft will be delivered it will perform well.