Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings gave new momentum to the recovering air freight market on Tuesday, increasing its profit outlook for the year more than 20 percent on what the freighter said was growing demand heading toward the fall peak shipping season.
The parent of Atlas Air said it is seeing “robust” demand for its commercial aircraft charters, strong pricing because of tight capacity and “reduced market uncertainty” in an improving global economy.
“Air shipments of new, high-tech products, as well as just-in-time inventory management practices by businesses, are contributing to the strength in demand for air freight,” AAWH President and CEO William J. Flynn said.
By The Numbers: Air Freight Price Index.
Atlas upgraded its profit forecast from $4.35 a share, or around $113 million, to $5.30 a share, or close to $140 million for the full year. The airline earned $66.4 million in the first half of the year, as demand for short-term commercial charters and military charters surged while the core long-term aircraft lease business remained relatively flat.
Forwarders and other airlines are the main customers for those commercial charters, and tight capacity this year has been a boon to Atlas, the world’s largest operator of widebody 747 freighters.
This year “is expected to be a record year for commercial airfreight demand and a record year for (Atlas),” said Flynn. “Our view reflects the global scale and scope of our operations and the global customer base that we serve.”