Atlas Air remains upbeat despite second quarter loss

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Atlas Air Worldwide is remaining positive in the second quarter despite reporting a loss of $21.1 million.

The reported loss from continuing operations net of tax included an unrealised loss on outstanding warrants of $50 million as well as a special charge of $9.4 million related to engines held for sale.

For the first six months of the year, this turned 2017’s $38.2 million profit into a $11.5 million loss.

On an adjusted basis, Atlas Air says profits increased by $20.6 million to $49.7 million in the second quarter.

President and chief executive officer, William Flynn says volumes and revenue broke records, and though reported results were affected by warrant accounting, adjusted income and EBITDA were “sharply higher”.

He says: “We expect to continue to build on our strong performance in the second half of 2018. Airfreight demand is solid and the global economy is growing. As a result of our strategic initiatives to grow and diversify our fleet, expand our customer base and enhance our business mix, we are meeting the growing needs of our customers, driving our results and extending our leadership in global aviation outsourcing.”

The ACMI segment was largely unchanged as higher heavy maintenance expense and amortisation of deferred maintenance costs offset a significant increase in block-hour volumes and a higher average rate per block hour.

Block hours grew 19 per cent during the period due to increased Boeing 767 flights by Amazon, the start-up of Boeing 747-400 services by several new customers, and the redeployment of Boeing 747-8s from the charter segment to ACMI.

Charter growth came from increased military cargo and passenger demand, an increase in commercial cargo volumes and higher aircraft utilisation, partially offset by the redeployment of 747-8s to the ACMI segment.

Higher segment contribution in dry leasing reflected the placement of additional Boeing 767-300 converted freighters throughout the second half of 2017 and first half of 2018, as well as the placement of a 777-200 freighter in early 2018.