LONDON – Atlas Air has announced that it will operate four Boeing 777 Freighters for MSC Mediterranean via a long-term aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance deal.
This comes after the carrier ordered the aircraft back in January 2022, with the first delivery taking place in the fourth quarter of this year.
It is understood that MSC will use these aircraft to serve as a complementary service to the shipping container services that they operate already.
Commenting on the news was John Dietrich, President & CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide:
“We are pleased to welcome MSC as a new customer, and look forward to supporting MSC as it develops its airfreight business and further enhances its position as a global leader in transportation and logistics”.
“This new agreement will allow MSC to capitalize on the state-of-the-art service solutions provided by our aircraft and crews, as well as the unparalleled air cargo expertise brought by our Atlas team.”
Also commenting on the deal was Soren Toft, the CEO of MSC:
“We are delighted to announce the development of MSC Air Cargo, an exciting new offering for MSC clients.”
“This strategic partnership with Atlas Air is the first step into this market, and we plan to continue exploring various avenues to develop air cargo in a way that complements our core business of container shipping.”
“Atlas Air’s fleet of 777 freighter aircraft is well-suited to support our entry into air cargo, and this strategic initiative will ensure we meet the cargo requirements of our customers.”
A Busy Summer for Atlas…
It has been a busy summer for Atlas Air, especially in August, through their two major announcements.
On August 11, the company announced that it has extended its partnership with Qantas Freight, the cargo arm of the Australian national carrier.
Qantas Freight is the main cargo carrier in Australia and originally launched service back in 2004. It has enjoyed a long-term partnership with Atlas Air.
Under the extended partnership with Qantas Freight, American-based Atlas Air will provide long-haul capacity to the Australian carrier.
Atlas Air will provide 2 Boeing 747-400Fs operating, which will provide additional capacity to Qantas Freight to fly to North America and Asia.
Then, on August 18, it was announced that an investor group purchased Atlas Air Worldwide for $5.2bn.
The acquisition is led by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo, affiliates of JF Lehman & Company, and Hill City Capital. Under the terms of the agreement, Atlas Air Worldwide shareholders will receive $102.50 per share in cash, representing a 57% premium to the 30-day volume-weighted average trading price per share of Atlas Air Worldwide common stock as of July 29. This deal has a stock value of approximately $3 billion.
Atlas Air Worldwide will continue to operate as Atlas Air Worldwide and will be led by John Dietrich and the current management team.
It remains clear that Atlas Air is currently in a very good position, especially with the cargo industry still booming post-COVID.
Looking ahead, it’s going to be interesting to see what else the group has in store and whether we could see substantial expansion as we enter 2023.