Atlas Air has taken delivery of a fifth new Boeing 747-8 Freighter and is operating the aircraft for Switzerland-based freight-forwarding and logistics-services provider Panalpina.
It is the second Boeing 747-8 Freighter which the Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. subsidiary has put into service for Panalpina under a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) contract, commonly known in the industry as a wet lease.
According to Atlas Air, the new freighter will offer Panalpina better performance than its existing Boeing 747-400F freighters in terms of payload, fuel efficiency, total cost per tonne-mile, and environmental compliance.
“With two 747-8 freighters now in service, Panalpina can further take advantage of increased capacity and revenue-generating capability while improving fuel efficiency and the ability to offer its customers a unique and highly flexible solution for time-definite airfreight,” said William Flynn, president and chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc.
Atlas Air expects to receive two additional Boeing 747-8 Freighter jets in 2012 and two in the first half of 2013, for a total of nine. As previously announced, Atlas has received a commitment from Apple Bank for Savings to finance the remaining deliveries, subject to customary conditions.
Atlas Air financed the acquisition of its latest 747-8F in part with proceeds from a term loan, which the company subsequently refinanced by issuing $142.7 million of 12-year, secured bonds.
These bonds, which are guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States, have been priced at 1.73 per cent and the issue is scheduled to close on July 31. BNP Paribas and KGS Alpha Capital Markets are acting as joint lead bookrunners.
Atlas Air Worldwide is the parent company of Atlas Air and Titan Aviation Leasing, and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide. Atlas Air Worldwide also maintains a 49 per cent interest in Global Supply Systems Limited (GSS), a UK-based carrier which operates three 747-8F freighters on behalf of British Airways World Cargo.
Through Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo, Atlas Air Worldwide operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighters.
Including the nine 747-8Fs and four Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter ‘Dreamlifter’ jets owned by Boeing and operated on Boeing’s behalf, Atlas Air Worldwide companies – including Global Supply Systems – operate and have on order a total of 37 Boeing 747 freighters and four Boeing 747-400 passenger jets.