Air Atlanta Icelandic: more 744’s as it shifts fast to cargo

Iceland based Air Atlanta Icelandic was lucky. It’s core business is ACMI passenger flying with a small cargo arm. When you fly for other airlines and there’s a downturn, companies like HiFly, Titan and Air Atlanta Icelandic are the first to get dumped by cost cutting airlines. Their business models work when airlines are stretched to capacity – times like this are worse for them than anyone else.

AAI had been operating 15 aircraft, 8 of them passenger. The current crisis has reduced passenger ops to zero overnight and they have no passenger revenue at all. The impact would have been even more disastrous if it had come a month later: AAI was about to launch even more passenger operations with leased A330’s and 777’s. Two A330’s were planned to commence flying in April, with the first of three 777’s intended to start operations on June 1st. All of that has been scraped.

Instead the company has made the rapid switch up to bring on more cargo capacity, the company has reactivating 2 additional purpose built 744F’s, with one due in June and the second in July.

It’s existing fleet of 744F’s is in high demand, and if contract rates are anything to go by at the moment, an entire 744F is costing up to $1.5 million for a single all capacity charter flight on certain routes. Rates as high as $18 a kilo have been recorded on other routes, an extraordinarily high level.

Even with that level of operations the company is still only at 50% of its normal revenue.

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