Atlas Air enjoys record results in 2021 amid freight boom

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Atlas Air, the US-based provider of freight and passenger ACMI operations, reported record results for 2021, boosted by strong demand for air freight.  

Atlas operates the world’s largest fleet of 747 freighters, plus provides customers with Boeing 747, 777, 767 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations. 

The airline, which operates services for FedEx and DHL among many others, reported 2021 revenue of $4 billion and net income of $493.3 million, up from $3.2 billion and $360.3 million in 2020.  

Atlas Air said it expects the strong air freight environment to continue. The company is benefitting from supply chain bottlenecks pushing more volumes towards air freight 

“We are leveraging our world-class fleet and global operating capabilities to increase aircraft utilization and capitalize on strong demand for our services and dedicated freighters, as well as on higher airfreight yields,” chief executive John Dietrich said in the financial results statement on February 17, 2022.  


Atlas Air said it had placed all four of its new and incoming 747-8Fs under long-term agreements. The aircraft are due to be delivered between May and October this year.  

It also says there is strong demand for the four new 777-200LRF that it ordered in January 2022, with one due to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the other three in 2023.  


Atlas Air has also recently been buying 747s that it used to lease. It purchased six of its existing 747-400Fs in 2021 and said it will buy another five during 2022 when their leases end.  

“Acquiring these widebody freighters underscores our confidence in the demand for dedicated international airfreight capacity, particularly in express, e-Commerce and fast-growing global markets,” Atlas Air said.  

For the first quarter of 2022, Atlas Air is expecting a strong performance, with net profit similar to the first quarter of 2021 and revenue of around $1 billion.  

Dietrich concluded: “We also have a strong position and look forward to growing our Titan dry leasing business. And our strategic focus on express, e-Commerce and fast-growing markets will continue to drive our business forward.” 

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