About Us

Building on a history of driving value for customers, employees, and shareholders

Atlas Air began operations in 1992. Our founder, the late Michael Chowdry, started by leasing aircraft to other airlines on an Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) contract basis. Today, Atlas Air Worldwide’s companies operate the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft and provide customers the broadest array of 747, 777, 767, 757 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional, and international applications. Highlights of our growth timeline include:


  • Atlas Air is founded by entrepreneur Michael Chowdry with headquarters in Golden, CO, and main operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • A single Boeing 747-200 converted freighter registration number N505MC, is the first aircraft acquired.


  • China Airlines becomes first customer, serving routes from Taipei to Europe.
  • Second Boeing 747-200 converted freighter aircraft added to fleet.
  • First proving run flight takes place on February 11.


  • Service with China Airlines expands with a weekly flight between New York and Hong Kong and a new route between New York and Taipei.
  • Operations begin at Miami International Airport to serve new routes for Varig Brazilian Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas Airlines.
  • Four additional Boeing 747-200 passenger aircraft acquired from Lufthansa for conversion.


  • Company goes public and lists on NASDAQ as ATLS.
  • Net income increased to $18M and revenue to $171M.
  • Panalpina becomes the first non-airline ACMI cusomer, serving the Luxembourg-Huntsville AL route.


  • Operating 15 747 freighters in ACMI for major airlines.
  • Acquired a Boeing 747-200F aircraft and the fleet’s first “nose loader” from Cargolux and six aircraft from Thai Airways.


  • CEO Michael Chowdry signs order for ten new Boeing 747-400 Freighters with options for additional aircraft.
  • Listed on the New York Stock Exchange as CGO (CarGO).


  • Exercised options and purchased two more Boeing 747-400Fs.
  • Employees celebrate delivery of first new Boeing 747-400F.


  • Named largest cargo carrier at Miami International Airport.
  • Now operating 31 aircraft (22 747-200Fs and nine new 747-400Fs).
  • Took delivery of two Boeing 747-400Fs to serve British Airways (“Chelsea Rose” livery).


  • Miami Training Center opens.
  • Atlas Air ranked third among cargo carriers, after FedEx and UPS.
  • Headquarters consolidates from Golden, CO and JFK to Purchase, NY.


  • Founder Michael Chowdry passed away unexpectedly.
  • Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) formed and Atlas Air becomes a wholly owned subsidiary.
  • AAWW acquires Polar Air Cargo, adding additional Boeing 747s and global scheduled service operations.


  • Airline Business recognizes Atlas Air with Airline Strategy Award.
  • Hubs and regional sales offices established in in London and Miami.
  • $1 billion revenue milestone achieved.


  • Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon recognizes Atlas Air with Outstanding Citizenship Award for exceptional support of the U.S. military.
  • Ongoing Global economic challenges continue.


  • Company files for and successfully emerges from Chapter 11 within six months.
  • Now operating 43 aircraft (23 747-200Fs, 20 747-400Fs).
  • Polar Air Cargo expands global scheduled service to 18 daily departures to 14 cities in 8 countries.
  • Customer base grows to include Qantas, Air New Zealand, UPS, and FedEx.


  • Since emerging from Chapter 11, the stock prices increased more than 170%, from less than $17 per share to average trading in the upper $40s.
  • Atlas joins the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program and becomes a member of the FedEx Team.


  • William J. Flynn joins as President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Company begins trading on NASDAQ as AAWW.
  • Order placed for 12 new, technologically advanced Boeing 747-8 Freighters.


  • DHL Express acquires a 49% equity interest in Polar Air Cargo.
  • Awarded as Industry’s Best Charter and ACMI Operator by Asian Freight and Supply Chain.
  • U.S Air Force awards contract to train Air Force One pilots.


  • Scheduled service begins in South America with operations from Miami to São Paulo, Santiago and Lima.
  • U.S Air Force expands contract to include flight training for pilots and flight engineers who fly the Boeing E-4B.
  • Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo achieves globally recognized IOSA safety certification.


  • Diversifies the business and founds Titan Aviation Leasing.
  • Signs first passenger CMI contract with SonAir to operate premium service on the “Houston Express” between Houston, TX and Luanda, Angola.
  • Employees begin a partnership with Junior Achievement by volunteering to teach basic economic concepts to school-age children in the local community.


  • Operates VIP Passenger Charter service for United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron to Myanmar and several Asian nations.
  • Boeing Dreamlifter CMI service begins delivery of major assemblies for Boeing 787 Dreamliner program.


  • Launched Boeing 767 charter passenger and cargo service, the company’s first non-747 aircraft platform.
  • Atlas/GSS commences Boeing 747-8F operations for British Airways.
  • Gains approval from U.S. Department of Defense to provide passenger charters and launches Boeing 747-400 service for U.S.


  • Two new Boeing 747-8F aircraft placed in ACMI service for Panalpina.
  • Begins Boeing 767 cargo operations for DHL Express in North America.
  • Launches Boeing 767 passenger service the U.S. Military.


  • Wins Payload Asia Awards for ACMI Operator and Charter Operator of the Year.
  • Titan acquires three Boeing 777 Freighters.
  • Atlas Air commemorates the 20-year anniversary of its first flight.


  • At year’s end, operating 60 aircraft and 28,245 flights to 432 airports in 123 countries.
  • Atlas Air Worldwide’s Board of Directors and Executive Management Team.


  • Tenth Boeing 747-8F is delivered.
  • Titan acquires three additional 777F aircraft.
  • Atlas Air celebrates one millionth military passenger.


  • Entered into a strategic agreement with Amazon to provide 20 Boeing 767-300 converted freighters under a dry and CMI contract.
  • Atlas Air expands its customer base with Nippon Cargo Airlines and Asiana Cargo.
  • Atlas Air Worldwide acquires Southern Air adding 777Fs and 737Fs to operating portfolio.



  • Atlas Air celebrates its 25th year.
  • Net income increased to $224M and revenue to $2.2B.
  • At year’s end, operating 103 aircraft and 48,980 flights to 420 airports in 105 countries as workforce expands to 2,870 employees including 1,814 crew members.