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Atlas Air Reports Record 2021 Results; Signs New Agreements With Kuehne+Nagel and Cainiao

Atlas Air has reported a fourth quarter net income of $176.7 million or $5.55 per diluted share, and a full year 2021 net income of $493.3 million or $16.16 per diluted share. Today, the company also announced new or expanded agreements with Kuehne+Nagel and Cainiao.

Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 Freighter - Courtesy Atlas Air

On Thursday (February 17, 2022). Atlas Air Worldwide announced their fourth quarter and full year financial results for the period ending December 31, 2021. The carrier reported a fourth quarter net income of $176.7 million or $5.55 per diluted share on revenue of $1.2 billion, and a full year 2021 record net income of $493.3 million or $16.16 per diluted share on revenue of $4.0 billion, up from $3.2 billion for 2020. At December 31, 2021, Atlas had cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash totaling $921.0 million, versus $856.3 million at December 31, 2020.

In Thursday’s announcment, Atlas Air Worldwide’s President and Chief Executive Officer, John W. Dietrich, said,

“2021 was another outstanding year with excellent financial and operating performance. Our greatest strength is our people and I’d like to thank everyone at Atlas for working together to deliver these very strong results. We are also very pleased to have achieved a long-term labor agreement with our pilots that recognizes their significant contributions to Atlas. With the strength, flexibility and resiliency of our global business model, our experienced and dedicated team delivered high-quality service to our customers in an operating environment with persistent pandemic-related obstacles.

“We are leveraging our world-class fleet and global operating capabilities to increase aircraft utilization and capitalize on strong demand for our services and dedicated freighters, as well as on higher airfreight yields. We have now placed our new 747-8Fs under long-term agreements, enhanced numerous long-term contracts with strategic customers and further diversified our customer base. In 2021, we deepened relationships with valued customers, including Cainiao, CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, DHL, DSV, FedEx, Flexport, Geodis, HP Inc., Icelandair, JAS, Kuehne+Nagel, SF Group and UPS.

“We take a disciplined and balanced approach to capital allocation. We have strengthened our balance sheet, made significant investments in our fleet, including new 747-8 and 777 freighter aircraft, and are returning capital to our shareholders. Consistent with our balanced capital allocation approach, our Board has authorized a new $200 million share repurchase program, and we are starting by implementing $100 million in accelerated repurchases.

“Atlas is very well positioned for the future. We have a dedicated and talented team of employees, a strong balance sheet, a formidable fleet of aircraft, an unparalleled network of customers and unrivaled global operating capabilities. We also have a strong position and look forward to growing our Titan dry leasing business. And our strategic focus on express, e-Commerce and fast-growing markets will continue to drive our business forward. We expect strong performance in the first quarter of 2022, with adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income similar to the first quarter of 2021. We also anticipate revenue of about $1.0 billion from flying approximately 85,000 block hours.

“This outlook reflects higher yields, including the contribution from numerous new or enhanced long-term customer contracts, as well as higher pilot costs from our new joint collective bargaining agreement that went into effect in September 2021. Due to the uncertainty related to the pandemic, ongoing supply chain disruptions and other factors, we are not providing additional guidance at this time.”

In a separate press release on Thursday (February 17, 2022), Atlas announced that they have entered into a long-term dedicated charter agreement to operate two of their new incoming Boeing 747-8 Freighters on a global basis for Kuehne+Nagel. Atlas will operate the freighters for the freight forwarder following delivery from Boeing, with one expected in the third quarter and the other in the fourth quarter this year. The two 747s that will be placed with Kuehne+Nagel are Boeing’s final production models.

Speaking on the Boeing 747-8 Freighter placements, Atlas Air’s Mr. Dietrich, said,

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Kuehne+Nagel by providing dedicated capacity for their growing global airfreight network. The Boeing 747-8F serves an incredibly important role in global airfreight, with advanced technology that allows for lower fuel consumption, higher capacity and unique nose-loading capability. We look forward to taking delivery of these two 747s and operating them for Kuehne+Nagel to support their network for years to come.”

Also commenting on the long-term freighter agreement, Kuehne+Nagel’s Management Board Member responsible for Air Logistics, Yngve Ruud, said,

“As a market leader in airfreight, Kuehne+Nagel further expands its dedicated charter network to support customers with solutions for long-term planning and high-quality service. We are proud to partner with Atlas Air and include these two new Boeing 747-8Fs in our already extensive global capacity offering.”

Kuehne+Nagel is one of the world’s leading logistics companies, with over 76,000 team members across 1,400 locations in over 100 countries. The company maintains a strong market position in Sea Logistics, Air Logistics, Road Logistics and Contract logistics, with an emphasis on integrated logistics solutions.

In another press release today, Atlas Air announced an expansion of their partnership with the Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of the Alibaba group. Under the new long-term agreement, Atlas will expand the strategic partnership by adding a new Boeing 747-8 Freighter to increase capacity between China and the Americas. The new aircraft will enter service in the second quarter of 2022, linking China with the U.S., Brazil and Chile.

Atlas Air Expands Partnership With Cainiao, the Logistics Arm of Alibaba Group - Courtesy Atlas Air

Speaking on the expanded partnership with Atlas, Cainiao’s Chief Strategist and General manager for Export Logistics, William Xiong, said,

“Through our successful partnership, Cainiao has been able to offer our customers across the Americas with faster and more eco-friendly deliveries provided by Atlas’ global operating capabilities. We are excited to add the new Boeing freighter to our expanding partnership in response to the growing demand for e-Commerce and greener logistics across the world.”

Founded in 2013, Cainiao is the logistics arm o Alibaba Group. The company has adopted a collaborative approach to logistics that aims to improve efficiency and customer experience for all stakeholders in the supply chain. Cainiao carries forward Alibaba’s mission of making it easy to do business anywhere, by aiming to deliver anywhere in China within 24 hours and across the globe within 72 hours.

Purchase, New York-based Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAWW) is a leading global provider of third-party aircraft and aviation operating services. Company subsidiaries include Atlas Air, Southern Air Holdings and Titan Aviation Holdings. Additionally, the company owns a majority stake in Polar Air Cargo Worldwide. Together, the Atlas Air family of companies operate the world’s largest Boeing 747 freighter fleet. The company also offers their customers a wide selection of Boeing 747, 777, 767 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations.

Source: Atlas Air Worldwide

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