Atlas Air cuts fleet, posts massive loss

Cargo giant Atlas Air posted a huge US$293.1million loss for 2019 as a whole, having lost nearly half a billion dollars in the last quarter, and announced it was cutting its fleet. Not only losses but a seriously poor 2020 await most air freight businesses, with a soft market and the Chinese industrial sector almost dead because of the CoVid-19 virus.

The airline has cut the following aircraft:

* 4 x 747-400F’s (converted versions) have been parked and stored.

* 1 x 744F has been returned to its lessor

* 1 x 752F, 1 x 777F and a 737-400 have been sold

The 777F was previously on dry lease to Emirates and was parked up at Leipzig-Halle.

On a positive note Atlas is operating the new ElAl 744F, but it’s still far from having resolved some intense pilot union relations, which while improved are still well below anything that could be considered normal.

Air freight should, eventually bounce back once China resumes – and there will be a backlog of items that are still being manufactured and need moving once its safe to do so.

IATA declared 2019 the worst year for air freight since the financial collapse of 2009, and the 2012 collapse in air freight business that saw dozens of companies go under.