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Atlas Air profits as Panalpina changes to charters

PURCHASE, NY: Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has reported net income of US$102.2 million on revenue of US$1.79 billion for 2014 - up from US$93.9 million and US$1.65 billion respectively during the previous year.

Fourth quarter revenue was US$488.8 million, an increase from US$470.6 million in the same period in 2013. As a result, net income rose from US$28.2 million to US$41.6 million.

President and CEO Bill Flynn said that the year ended well for the company and early 2015 is looking good: "After the first significant peak-season in several years, airfreight activity in the first quarter so far continues to reflect the broad-based pickup in demand that began in 2014."

Panalpina Atlas 2However he added that industry forecasts of 4.5 percent growth this year would only be achieved if there was a continuation of "positive global economic activity driven by healthy consumer and business confidence".

Atlas says its has combined its military and charter operations into a single unit due to a reduction in military contracts.

Next month the company will transfer a 747-8 freighter currently provided to Panalpina to DHL for use on its transpacific services. Atlas will replace the capacity with a long-term charter contract to Panalpina and continue to provide a wet-leased 747-8 freighter to the company between points in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe.

Lucas Kuehner, Panalpina global head of Air Freight explained the new five-year deal with Atlas: "The switch from one of our wet-leased 747-8Fs to more than 200 scheduled full charters per year as part of this agreement equals a change in our procurement strategy and prepares the ground for the continued expansion of our controlled air freight network."

As of March, Panalpina will operate flights from Hong Kong to Huntsville with dedicated scheduled charters using Atlas 747-400 freighters. "We will not only maintain our scheduled capacity for our customers on the transpacific route but are planning to extend this service together with Atlas Air," added Matthias Frey, global head of the logistics company's airfreight network.

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