MIAMI – Riding the jet stream of growing global freight demand, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Nasdaq: AAWW) today announced strong increases in volumes, revenue, and earnings for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020.

Net income for the fourth quarter was US$184m, compared to a net loss of US$410.2m, primarily due to a non-cash special charge, a year earlier.

For the full year of 2020 – when pandemic-related cargo demand surged around the world – the company reported a net income of US$360.3m. Reported results for the 12 months ended December 31, 2019, reflected a net loss of US$293.1m, which included a non-cash special charge.

Southern Air N703GT Boeing 777-F16. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

Comments from Atlas Air CEO

“We finished this unprecedented year on a strong note, with financial and operating results that exceeded our expectations. I’d like to thank everyone at Atlas for stepping up to deliver an extraordinary peak season and full year for our business and our customers,” said President and Chief Executive Officer John Dietrich.

“In the face of unrelenting operational complexities driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, we added widebody capacity, increased aircraft utilization, and grew block hours to carry historic volumes, including essential goods that businesses, communities, and individuals require as well as holiday e-commerce packages.”

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

New Boeing 747-8Fs Coming

The company, whose brands include Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo, Southern Air, and Titan Aviation Leasing, recently ordered four additional new Boeing 747-8Fs to fuel its growth. Already the largest operator of Boeing 747 freighters (including -400Fs), Atlas expects delivery of the new aircraft from May through October 2022.

Dietrich said in the company’s earnings release that “strong demand for our aircraft and services has continued into this quarter” and that net income is expected to grow.

He also cautioned, “Due to ongoing uncertainty related to the pandemic and associated market dynamics, including ever-changing border restrictions, new variants of COVID-19 and surges in cases globally, we are not providing a full-year 2021 earnings outlook at this time.”

As of Nov. 5, 2020, Atlas Air Worldwide had an operating fleet of 109 aircraft, including Boeing 747s, 767s, 777s and 737s. Its customers include some of the world’s leading airlines, express and e-commerce providers, and manufacturers.

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