Air Transport World

'The airlines' airline.'(Atlas Air)

DENVER - As its name implies, cargo carrier Atlas Air is strong and getting stronger by the day. Founded in 1992, Atlas hauls freight from airport to airport for international airlines that need more cargo capacity. Price-sensitive airlines such as KLM, Lufthansa, China Airlines, Varig, UPS and Emirates are some that have signed long-term contracts with Atlas.

Unlike its clients and other freight haulers, Atlas keeps costs down by not investing huge sums in elaborate ground-handling and dispatch centers. Its mission begins and ends at the airport.

Average 14 1/2-hr. daily utilization of its all-Boeing 747-200 fleet and lower labor costs let Atlas haul freight for less than its airline customers can. The formula seems to be working. Revenues shot up 150%, from $41 million in 1993 to $103 minion by the end of 1994. For 1995, revenues are expected to exceed $150 million.

Block hours have jumped dramatically, to 19,049 in 1994, from 7,907 in 1993. And Atlas just took delivery of its eighth 747 freighter, the second of four 747-200 combis from Lufthansa to be modified into high-gross-weight freighters by Boeing's Modification Responsibility Center in Wichita. Part of the modification includes removing the passenger interior, replacing floor beams and seat tracks, strengthening the main deck and installing a powered cargo-handling system. …

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