The high-profile cargo and passenger constitution airline Atlas Air is prone to discover itself beneath new possession quickly. Talks in regards to the sale of New York-based airline greatest recognized for its fleet of Boeing 747-400s are reportedly within the last and most delicate phases. Lurking within the background is Amazon which can counter with their very own bid. If that’s the case, a cargo model of the JetBlue / Frontier battle for Spirit Airways may comply with.

Apollo International Administration negotiates to takeover Atlas Air

Atlas Air has a fleet of 81 plane. Over half are Boeing 747s, and round one-third are Boeing 767-300s. There are additionally eight Boeing 737-800 freighters and a sole Boeing 777 freighter within the fleet. Aviation database values these plane round about US$2.4 billion. The common age of Atlas Air’s planes is 22.9 years, and the airline is now the world’s largest Boeing 747 operator.


The Wall Road Journal broke the buyout story on Monday. The newspaper stated talks between Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (guardian firm of Atlas Air) and its suitor, Apollo International Administration had been in superior phases however not a completed deal but. “A deal may come quickly assuming talks do not collapse,” unnamed sources instructed the WSJ.

Since then, the excitement in monetary circles has despatched the share value of Atlas Air sharply greater, complicating last negotiations. Apollo International Administration is a New York funding agency with round US$500 billion beneath administration. Whereas its funding portfolio covers a number of industries, it has some earlier type within the aviation sector, together with shopping for Solar Nation Airways in 2018 and buying stakes in Swissport and Aeromexico.

Atlas Air is now the world’s greatest operator of Boeing 747 plane. Picture: Atlas Air

Atlas Air is probably a wealthy prize

Atlas Air’s publicity to the burgeoning air freight sector makes it a gorgeous purchase alternative for deep-pocketed buyers. Father or mother firm Atlas Air Worldwide will current its second-quarter monetary outcomes on Friday. Within the first quarter of the yr, Atlas Air Worldwide reported web earnings of US$81.5 million off revenues of $1 billion.

“Atlas continues to exhibit the worth of airfreight as an important part of the worldwide provide chain. We’re seeing a sustaining shift in long-term buyer demand for Atlas’ devoted plane and the pace and reliability airfreight supplies,” stated Chief Govt Officer John Dietrich. “Throughout the first quarter, our prospects continued to enter and improve long-term contracts with Atlas for devoted freighter capability.

“We’re increasing and diversifying our buyer base and growing flying beneath long-term contracts with engaging charges and assured ranges of flying. We’re very effectively positioned for the years forward. We’ve got considerably strengthened our steadiness sheet and have a wholesome money steadiness. This supplies us the monetary flexibility to opportunistically deploy capital, together with investing in our enterprise and returning capital to shareholders.”

Amazon might also have a watch on the Atlas Air prize

Notably, Atlas Air supplies air freight providers to world e-commerce big Amazon. That deal, signed in 2016, resulted in Atlas offering 20 Boeing 767-300 freighters to Amazon on a wet-leased foundation, offering the required crew, upkeep, and insurance coverage. That deal considerably expanded Atlas Air Air’s asset and income base.

The deal additionally gave Amazon the proper to purchase as much as 20% of Atlas Air’s shares at a predetermined value now considerably under the present share value. Amazon exercised these choices in early 2021, turning into a minority shareholder within the airline in addition to a buyer. Apart from the monetary angle, Amazon is now closely concerned within the air cargo discipline and isn’t opposed to beefing up its personal in-house capabilities. It opens the way in which for a potential bidding conflict between Apollo and Amazon just like what occurred within the JetBlue / Frontier tussle for Spirit Airways.

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