Atlas Air To Fly Boeing Dreamlifters, Replacing Evergreen

 - March 5, 2010, 8:27 AM

Boeing has awarded a nine-year contract to Atlas Air for the operation of the manufacturer’s four Dreamlifter cargo haulers starting “toward the latter part of 2010,” spelling the end of Evergreen International Airlines’ three-year stint flying the modified 747-400s. At that time Atlas Air will assume responsibility for delivering major 787 assemblies from suppliers around the world to Boeing production facilities in the U.S.

In a statement released yesterday, Atlas Air said the parties have structured the agreement in a manner consistent with the outsourcing model under which the cargo operator typically operates. Under the terms of the contract, Atlas Air will receive contractually determined revenues for the operation of the Dreamlifters, while Boeing assumes responsibility for certain direct costs, including fuel. The crew, maintenance and insurance (CMI) arrangement calls for Boeing to provide and maintain ownership of the aircraft assets.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Atlas Air served as the North American launch customer for the 747-8 Freighter. In 2006 it placed a firm order for 12 of the airplanes, the first of which it expects to receive next year.

“We are well positioned to execute on our growth initiatives and to drive future revenues and earnings, said Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings president and CEO William Flynn. “In addition to the expected start-ups of our new CMI service for Boeing in the second half of this year and for SonAir in the second quarter, we are focused on introducing our new Boeing 747-8 freighters into service in 2011 and on adjacent dry leasing opportunities in our Titan subsidiary.

“When fully implemented, we expect that the annual contribution per aircraft from our Dreamlifter service will meet or exceed the current average contribution that we achieve in our 747-400 CMI service.”