Atlas Air returns to profit in Q1 as all business sectors boom

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Atlas Air has returned to profits in the first quarter of 2018 with increased activity in all business sectors.

The $0.7 million loss in the first quarter of 2017 was turned into a $9.6 million profit, with operating revenue rising from $475 million to $590 million.

ACMI revenue rose from $200 million to $266.4 million driven by a significant increase in block hour volumes and higher average rate per block hour.

Block hours grew by 28 per cent due to Boeing 767s flying for Amazon, the start up of Boeing 747-400 operations for several new customers and the redeployment of Boeing 747-8Fs from the charter segment to ACMI.

Charter operating revenue increased from $243.9 million to $285.2 million driven by an increase in yields and higher aircraft utilisation, partially offset by the redeployment of 747-8s to the ACMI segment.

Higher average rates reflected an increase in yields, higher fuel prices, and the impact of charter capacity purchased from ACMI customers with no associated charter block hours.

Dry leasing benefitted from the placement of an additional Boeing 767-300 converted freighter and the placement of a Boeing 777-200 Freighter in February 2018.

Atlas Air president and chief executive officer, William J. Flynn says: “The strategic initiatives that we have put in place over many years have transformed our company. Our focus on express, e-commerce and fast-growing global markets has broadened our customer base and fleet. We are growing across all of our fleet types. We are operating in a strong airfreight environment and growing global economy.”

He adds that placing a second 747-400 with DHL Global Forwarding in an ACMI deal underscore’s Atlas Air’s strong performance and will help the customer control capacity on growing trade lanes were demand exceeds capacity.

Looking into 2018, Flynn says: “With the demand we are seeing for our aircraft and services, we now expect our revenue to exceed $2.5 billion in 2018. We project adjusted EBITDA to increase to more than $500 million.

“And we anticipate our full-year adjusted net income will grow by a low- to mid-30 per cent level compared with 2017, up from our prior outlook of mid-20 per cent growth.”