Atlas Air for the first time has ordered direct from Boeing for four new 777 freighters, with delivery of the first aircraft in November.
The aircraft lessor said the move comes amidst strong customer demand for dedicated long-haul wide-body airfreight capacity, particularly in the fast-growing e-commerce andrxpress markets.
The first of four new 777-200LRFs is expected to be delivered in November 2022 with the other three scheduled for delivery throughout 2023.
This investment is expected to bolster Atlas’ 777 fleet, which currently includes 14 freighters that the company operates or provides to customers on a dry-lease basis through its subsidiary Titan Aviation Leasing.
“These new aircraft will advance our strategic growth plan as we continue to capitalize on strong demand for dedicated airfreight capacity,” said said John W. Dietrich, Atlas Air Worldwide president and CEO.
“This investment aligns with our disciplined approach to deploying capital and meets our strict return guidelines when investing in aircraft. We anticipate this transaction will drive strong earnings and cash flows, and enhance shareholder value,” Dietrich added.
In addition to the 777 jets, Atlas is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft, with 49 in its current fleet. As previously announced, the company will take delivery of four new 747-8 freighters during 2022, with the first delivery expected in May.
These aircraft are the last four 747 freighters Boeing will produce. The company also operates and leases sizable fleets of 767 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations.