Atlas Air to provide military personnel charter service
The U.S. Department of Defense has cleared Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings to begin providing passenger charter service for the U.S. military. The service, which represents a signification expansion for the long-time military airfreight carrier, will begin in May.
Atlas Air Worldwide President and CEO William J. Flynn is particularly excited about the new endeavor.
“Our entry into passenger service for the U.S. military leverages the experience of our long-standing service in AMC cargo operations, our knowledge of the areas of operation and our success in providing premium, private-charter, passenger [classified military information] operations for SonAir,” he said in a statement. “These created a low-risk, low-cost entry opportunity for us.”
Passenger service will be provided for the Defense Department’s Air Mobility Command on a Boeing 747-400 jet obtained under an operating lease.
Flynn believes this new capacity will help Atlas Air mitigate any declines in airfreight demand. He’s also confident that his company will be able to meet the varying needs of military personnel.
“As a large percentage of flying is entitlement driven, we will size our fleet and operations to meet anticipated demand,” Flynn remarked. “Since approximately 95 percent of U.S. troops move via commercial air carriers, there should be a good level of sustained passenger demand. We foresee meaningful earnings growth from AMC passenger operations in 2012 and beyond.”