MIAMI – The parent company of Atlas Air, Southern Air and Titan Aviation Leasing, as well as the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo, posted strong earnings amid continued high demand for global air cargo.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWW) announced first-quarter 2021 net income of US$89.9m, up from US$23.4m in the first quarter of 2020.

Volume in the first quarter of 2021 increased to 88,523 block hours compared with 73,247 in the first quarter of 2020, with revenue growing to US$861.3m versus US$643.5m in the prior-year period.

“Our performance was driven by the strength and flexibility of our global business model and our team continuing to capitalize on the current airfreight environment, with demand and yields that are well above typical seasonal levels,” said Atlas Air Worldwide president and CEO John W. Dietrich.

“I would like to thank our team for continuing to deliver safe, high-quality service for our customers in this very challenging operating environment. We flexed our global network and increased aircraft utilization to match airfreight demand. We also positioned ourselves for the future by entering into and extending numerous long-term charter agreements with strategic customers.”

Polar Air Cargo N452PA Boeing 747-46NF. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Strong Q2 outlook

The company provided a positive outlook for the second quarter.

“We are off to a very good start in 2021 and are seeing continued business momentum in the second quarter,” Dietrich said.

“With the strong global demand for airfreight outpacing air cargo supply, we anticipate airfreight demand and yields to remain strong, with capacity on long-haul trade lanes remaining tight,” he said. “International passenger flying on widebody aircraft has been slow to recover, and will likely be last to return as countries continue to struggle with COVID-19 and many borders remain closed.”

He continued: “Recent passenger air traffic has largely been driven by pent-up demand for domestic and regional leisure travel with smaller-gauge aircraft, which is less impactful to international airfreight.”

The company provides ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance, CMI (Crew, Maintenance and Insurance), charter and dry-leasing services.

Its companies operate the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft and provide customers with Boeing 747, 777, 767 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations.

Featured image: Atlas Air N497MC Boeing 747-400F(SCD). Photo: John Leivaditis/Airways