Price fixing litigation causes Atlas Air profits to plummet

Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F
Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F

Atlas Air has seen its net income for 2015 fall to $7.3 million, with losses in the fourth quarter, which it says, “primarily reflect previously disclosed litigation settlement”.

Net income for the year fell from $106.7 million in 2014 to $7.3 million, and in the fourth quarter Atlas made a loss of $37.6 million compared to $41.6 million in the same period of 2014. In January, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings agreed to pay $100 million to settle a US antitrust lawsuit about price-fixing of security surcharges. It was ordered to pay $35 million on or before 15 January 2016, $35 by 15 January 2017 and the remaining $30 million by 15 January 2018.

Despite the poor results, Atlas Air president and chief executive officer, William Flynn remains optimistic, saying: “2015 was a great year. We grew earnings substantially, outperforming the airfreight market and delivering adjusted EPS [earnings per share] of $5.01, and we positioned Atlas for earnings growth in 2016.”

He says Atlas added a tenth Boeing 747-8 Freighter to its fleet, increased crew, maintenance and insurance operations by four Boeing 767s, returned a Boeing 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter to the charter business, and increased dry leasing with two 767s.

Total operating revenue for the year increased to $1.82 billion from $1.79 billion in 2014, despite a drop in the fourth quarter to $472 million from $488.8 million in 2014. In 2015, all business areas saw increases, with aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance increasing to $791.4 million from $778 million. Charter was up from $906.6 million in 2014 to $908.7 million in 2015 and dry leasing was $107.2 million compared to $100 million in 2014.