DHL Express renews agreement with Atlas Air for 20 freighters

Polar Air Cargo jumbo jets side-by-side at airport being loaded with cargo.

Atlas Air will continue to fly 20 large freighters for DHL Express after the express delivery company extended an existing contract, the companies announced Tuesday.

The arrangement ensures DHL Express has continued access to outsourced airlift to support its fast-growing express business that is increasingly driven by e-commerce. The length of wet leases was not disclosed.

The aircraft are operated globally by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (NASDAQ: AAWW) subsidiaries Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo and Southern Air. Polar Air Cargo is a 13-year-old joint venture between Atlas and DHL in which DHL holds a 49% equity interest, including a 25% voting share. The strategic arrangement provides DHL Express guaranteed capacity on key trade lanes while Atlas gets a predictable, long-term revenue stream.

Atlas is currently operating four types of aircraft for DHL Express:

  • Six Boeing 747-8 freighters
  • Two Boeing 747-400 freighters
  • Eight Boeing 777-200 freighters
  • Four Boeing 767-300 freighters

“As this agreement indicates, Atlas is capitalizing on the strong global airfreight market conditions as we deepen relationships with our customers,” Atlas Air CEO John Dietrich said.

Last week, Atlas Air finalized a five-year labor contract with its pilots.

 Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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