Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWW) (Nasdaq: AAWW), a leading provider of global air cargo services, today announced that its subsidiary, Atlas Air, Inc. (Atlas), has closed on a $270 million financing facility in connection with pre-delivery deposit payments (PDPs) on five next-generation Boeing 747-8 wide-body freighters scheduled for delivery to the Company between February and July 2010.
Required PDPs on the five aircraft, including amounts already paid, total $311 million, with $202 million scheduled to be paid in 2008. The latter figure represents more than 80% of Atlas’ total 2008 PDP requirements on its firm order for 12 747-8F aircraft. Principal amounts outstanding under the PDP facility are to be repaid in tranches upon delivery of each aircraft to Atlas.
Six 747-8Fs are scheduled to be delivered to Atlas in 2010, with six additional deliveries scheduled in 2011. The 747-8 Freighter will represent the largest and most efficient heavy freighter in the market, providing the lowest ton-mile cost of any freighter alternative. The 12 freighter aircraft, along with options and rights to acquire up to an additional 14, anchor a fleet strategy that focuses on the Company’s customers and reinforces AAWW’s position as the most advanced, most efficient, and most reliable provider of leased freighter aircraft and outsourced air cargo services and solutions.
“We are very pleased to achieve PDP financing for our first 747-8s that complements our launch-customer pricing on the aircraft,” said William J. Flynn, AAWW’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The financing community has been very receptive to both the Company and the asset. The -8s will represent the most fuel-efficient and cost-effective heavy freighter alternative in the market.”
He added: “In addition to the inherent economic and operating advantages of the -8s, the aircraft financing community also recognizes the relative scarcity value the -8s will have when they enter operation and our first-mover advantage as the only outsource provider with -8s on order. Furthermore, our strong operating performance, balance sheet, and prospects for growth – combined with our premier international customer list and our long-term contractual relationships – leverage the attractiveness of the asset.”
Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, a leading aircraft financier, underwrote the PDP facility and will serve as the lead bank and facility agent. Funds drawn under the facility will bear interest at Libor plus a margin.
According to Boeing generic assumptions, the 747-8 Freighter is capable of flying a maximum structural payload capacity of 140 metric tons (154 short tons) while offering 16 percent more revenue cargo volume and equivalent range when compared to than the 747-400F. The 747-8 Freighter upholds its predecessor’s legendary efficiency with equivalent trip costs and 16 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400F. The 747-8 Freighter will enjoy the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter, giving operators unmatched profit potential.
About Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc.:
AAWW is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc. (Atlas) and the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. (Polar). Through Atlas and Polar, AAWW operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft.
Atlas and Polar offer a range of air cargo services that include ACMI aircraft leasing—in which customers receive a dedicated aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance on a long-term lease basis—commercial cargo charters, military charters, scheduled air cargo service (including express network service for DHL Express later in 2008), and dry-leasing of aircraft.
AAWW’s press releases, SEC filings and other information may be accessed through the Company’s home page, www.atlasair.com.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that reflect AAWW’s current views with respect to certain current and future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are and will be, as the case may be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to the operations and business environments of AAWW and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “companies”) that may cause the actual results of the companies to be materially different from any future results, express or implied, in such forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability of the companies to operate pursuant to the terms of their financing facilities; the ability of the companies to obtain and maintain normal terms with vendors and service providers; the companies’ ability to maintain contracts that are critical to their operations; the ability of the companies to fund and execute their business plan; the ability of the companies to attract, motivate and/or retain key executives and associates; the ability of the companies to attract and retain customers; the continued availability of our wide-body aircraft; demand for cargo services in the markets in which the companies operate; economic conditions; the effects of any hostilities or act of war (in the Middle East or elsewhere) or any terrorist attack; labor costs and relations; financing costs; the cost and availability of war risk insurance; our ability to maintain adequate internal controls over financial reporting; aviation fuel costs; security-related costs; competitive pressures on pricing (especially from lower-cost competitors); volatility in the international currency markets; weather conditions; government legislation and regulation; consumer perceptions of the companies’ products and services; pending and future litigation; and other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in AAWW’s reports to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
For additional information, we refer you to the risk factors set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Annual Report on Form 10-K filed by AAWW with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 15, 2007. Other factors and assumptions not identified above are also involved in the preparation of forward-looking statements, and the failure of such other factors and assumptions to be realized may also cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed.
AAWW assumes no obligation to update such statements contained in this release to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such estimates other than as required by law.
Regina Milano, 914-701-8417
Dan Loh, 914-701-8200