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Atlas Air grounds four Boeing 747Fs due to shrinking freight market

written by WOFA | February 26, 2020

Atlas Air has blamed a shrinking global freight market for the decision to ground four of its Boeing 747-400s in 2020.

The company said the aircraft are too heavy and less efficient because they were converted from passenger jets.

In a quarterly earnings call with stakeholders, chief executive John Dietrich said, “Demand has been softer. And when in that environment, it’s usually the least efficient aircraft logically that get parked first.


“And frankly, the demand has not been there for those aircraft, so we elected for the B747 converted freighters to be temporarily parked as we manage through the current period, and will shortly return one more to its lessor as the US-based hold.”

Dietrich explained that the airline’s passenger-to-freighter converted 747s were heavier and less efficient than the purpose-built 747-400Fs. The converted 747s also lack a nose cargo door.

“We also have sold or expect to sell three non-essential aircraft in our dry lease portfolio,” said Dietrich.


Atlas Air has already sold one Boeing 757-200F and also plans to sell one Boeing 737 passenger aircraft and one Boeing 777F.

Parent company Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings owns three airlines: Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo and Southern Air.

Atlas Air operates both cargo and passenger planes, while the other two carriers conduct only freighter operations.

The group is also the owner of Titan Aviation Holdings, a lessor that owns the aircraft operated both by Atlas Air Holdings subsidiaries and third-party companies.

Additional reporting by airlinerwatch.com.


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