Atlas Air/Polar Air Cargo parent set to acquire 12 new Boeing widebodies, say sources

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, parent of US cargo carriers Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo, is poised to conclude a deal for up to 12 Boeing 747-8 Freighters as it begins a major fleet-renewal programme.

The company confirms that it expects to announce a deal shortly for next-generation freighters, but declines to identify the aircraft selected. However, according to industry sources, the all-747 operator has selected the 747-8F and is in final negotiations for a 12-aircraft order. “We can’t comment on speculation like that,” says the airline. Boeing declines to comment.

747-8F Boeing
© Boeing 

Atlas is poised to select the 747-8F to meet its need for better reliability, range, capacity and fuel efficiency.

In a statement accompanying Atlas’s financial results for the three months ending on 30 June, president and chief executive William Flynn says: “We believe that we will provide a more compelling value proposition to our customers with leading-edge freighter aircraft that possess better reliability, range, capacity and fuel efficiency, and improve our commercial-risk profile.”

According to Flight’s ACAS database, Atlas Air and Polar operate 38 747s between them, comprising 21 747 Classics and 17 747-400s. Under the fleet restructuring plan, Atlas Air and Polar have phased out seven older 747s, says Flynn. “Our next step will be a significant investment in next-generation freighter technology, which we hope to announce shortly,” he adds.

Meanwhile, specialist freighter lessor Guggenheim Aviation Partners is understood to be considering a deal with Boeing for a package of 747-8Fs and 777 Freighters, as well as an order for Airbus A330-200 Freighters. The company declines to comment.

Additional reporting by Mary Kirby in Philadelphia

Source: Flight International