Atlas Air Worldwide delivers record figures in 2018 with outlook for continued growth in 2019

Air cargo carrier Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAWW) today posted solid fourth quarter and full-year results, and issued a bullish outlook for 2019.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company, which generates most of its revenue by flying freighter aircraft for airlines, the military, and other customers, posted record revenue of $ 765 million, a 22% increase from the year-earlier period. On an adjusted basis, income from continuing operations, net of taxes, rose 31 percent to $ 87 million from adjusted income of $ 66 million. Adjusted EBITDA rose 21% to $ 196.5 million.

Atlas Aircraft block hours rising to 19 percent

Aircraft “block” hours, the industry-standard measure for aircraft utilization, rose 19% during the period for the company’s core “ACMI” service, Atlas said. This was due to start-up flying for Boeing 747-400s for several new customers and increased peak-season flying for, Inc., which has leased 20 of B767-300 cargo planes from Atlas. Revenue per block hour in the quarter was about the same as in the 2017 quarter, Atlas said.

Under a contractual ACMI relationship, Atlas supplies the aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance. The customer typically provides the fuel and other services. ACMI services differ from charter operations–which Atlas is also involved in–that are shorter-term in nature, often don’t involve contracts, and call for the operator to provide all the flying services.

Atlas Air EBITDA rising to 26% in 2018

For the year, revenue rose 24% to a record $ 2.7 billion, while block hours increased 17% over 2017 totals to more than 296,264 hours, Atlas said. Income from continuing operations, net of taxes, rose 21% over 2017 totals. Both years included significant gains resulting from one-time circumstances, Atlas said. Adjusted EBITDA rose 26% to $ 540.6 million, Atlas said

Atlas added 16 aircraft to its fleet last year, bringing its fleet size at year-end to 112. Last year marked the first time in history Atlas had more than 100 planes in its fleet.