The Loadstar, a much respected and often analytically correct Air Cargo magazine has published an opinion piece on the ongoing drama and negotiations at Atlas Air, Southern Air and ATSG and Amazon.
The peculiar case of Atlas management and its increasingly poor relationship with its pilots is indeed confusing – unless, that is, it turns out to be a strategy that allows its executives to cash in big time via a smart trade sale to a key client, Amazon.
Read the entire article here…
A few other things that also point to another future merger or a sale is the curious case of the Southern Air 737 operation and Titan leasing which is owned by Atlas and leases out 737′s to other operators.
It would have seemed to this blogger many years ago that all the fancy charts showed the narrow body freight market was ready to explode and indeed it did. Why wouldnt Titan get a piece of the growth with one of its own subsidiaries, Southern Air?
The 737-800 Passenger to freighter conversions are all spoken for well into the future and have already begun revenue flying. It does not appear at least as of this date in 2018 than any are coming the way of Atlas or Southern Air.
In the USA, the entire country is still served by a mere handful of narrow body cargo operators. Alaska, Kalitta II, Aloha/Northern Air Cargo and Southern Air. Growth is assured to whoever can serve the market. I don’t understand why Atlas and Titan haven’t been more aggressive with the Southern Air 737 operation but a sale to Amazon (or anyone else really) would make sense.
SOMETHING must be more valuable to Atlas’ executives than actual revenue flying airplanes. In this business, when the executives pass up assured GROWTH, that’s usually a signal that a bankruptcy or a merger or a sale is around the corner.
Since in this case Atlas is very cash rich now, the smart money says it’s another merger or a sale vs. any kind of bankruptcy.
So the Loadstar basically just published what many of us have been observing now for the past 6 months or a year now.
These are still great opportunities out there in Air Cargo for anyone else who can read the ti leaves.
The first airline to deploy pilot-less drones will be Amazon.
Plan accordingly my friends!
/pau for now