Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAWW), a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating solutions, today announced that its Atlas Air, Inc. unit has entered into a contract with Astral Aviation Limited, a Kenya-based cargo airline, to provide Boeing 747-400 Freighter service.
The contract is for one aircraft under an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) agreement, with service expected to begin in the next few weeks. This is the first 747-400F in Astral Aviation’s global network, and it will provide all-cargo operations between Europe and Africa.
Astral Aviation operates in partnership with UK-based ANA Airline Management Limited. ANA specializes in the development and operation of all-cargo aircraft across a wide range of scheduled routes as well as providing air charter capacity on a worldwide basis to the various airlines it works in partnership with. ANA was founded in 1985 and has offices throughout Europe, Africa and North America.
“We are delighted to add Astral Aviation to our portfolio of ACMI customers,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide.“Atlas Air has the largest and most modern fleet in our industry, with a mix of cargo and passenger aircraft, serving customers who are leaders in their markets. Astral Aviation, through its affiliation with ANA Airline Management, takes pride in providing reliable, high-quality service and looks forward to expanding its international route network. Africa’s stature in global trade is rapidly increasing, and we look ahead to welcoming both a new customer for Atlas Air and to future opportunities for strategic expansion for both companies.” Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation, said: “We are excited about the prospects for air cargo growth between Africa and Europe, as well as within Africa. The Nairobi hub generates the highest volumes of perishable exports into Europe and combined with the return loads of oil and gas equipment into West Africa, the B747-400F is the perfect freighter.”