Atlas Air Worldwide Inc. (Atlas) has ordered two new Boeing 777 Freighters driven by ongoing strong customer demand for dedicated large widebody airfreight capacity, particularly for cross-border e-commerce shipping.
The two new 777 Freighters, which were booked earlier this quarter, are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2024.
In the announcement, Atlas Air said this "strategic investment" underscores the company's commitment to growing its 777F platform and to providing leading-edge aircraft and service offerings to its customers, as well as creating more long-haul flying opportunities for its pilots.
The company most recently ordered four 777 Freighters in 2021, which are placed on a long-term ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) agreement with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.
Three of these aircraft have been delivered, with the fourth 777 expected to be delivered in December 2023.
"We are excited to add these aircraft to our leading world-class fleet. These come at a time when retirements of older widebody freighters will significantly increase and when the introduction of new widebody freighter capacity will be limited," said Michael Steen, chief executive officer at Atlas Air.
"We have a deep pipeline of prospective customers interested in these 777 Freighters, and we’re confident in our ability to place them under long-term agreements," he added.
Steen noted that Atlas Air's "resilient business model that is highly diversified ... combined with its unique market position, will allow us to deliver our strategic growth plan."
"This investment is consistent with our disciplined approach to capital allocation and meets our strict return guidelines for investing in aircraft. We anticipate this transaction will drive strong earnings and cash flow for Atlas while providing value to our customers," Steen further said.
Atlas noted that these new 777 Freighters — the highest payload and longest-range twin-engine freighter — deliver high reliability with less fuel use, a reduction of emissions, and a smaller noise footprint.