About Us

Celebrating Thirty Years of
Global Airfreight Leadership

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 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations.


An idea takes flight

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  • Atlas Air is founded by entrepreneur Michael Chowdry with headquarters in Golden, Colo. and main operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
  • Operations begin with a single Boeing 747-200 converted freighter, registration number N505MC.


  • China Airlines becomes Atlas Air’s first customer, serving routes from Taipei to Europe.
  • A second Boeing 747-200 converted freighter aircraft is added to the fleet.
  • The first proving run flight takes place on February 11.


Gains altitude

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  • 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.
  • Four additional Boeing 747-200 passenger aircraft are acquired from Lufthansa for conversion.


  • The Company goes public and lists on NASDAQ as ATLS.
  • Net income increases to $18M and revenue to $171M.
  • Panalpina becomes the first non-airline ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) customer, serving the Luxembourg-Huntsville AL route.


  • Fifteen 747 freighters are in operation in ACMI for major airlines.
  • The Company acquires a Boeing 747-200F aircraft and the fleet’s first “nose loader” from Cargolux as well as six aircraft from Thai Airways.


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


  • The Company exercises options and purchases two more Boeing 747-400Fs.
  • Employees celebrate delivery of the first new Boeing 747-400F.


  • Atlas Air is named largest cargo carrier at Miami International Airport.
  • Thirty-one aircraft are in operation (22 747-200Fs and nine new 747-400Fs).
  • The Company takes delivery of two Boeing 747-400Fs to serve British Airways (“Chelsea Rose” livery).


  • Miami Training Center opens.
  • Atlas Air ranks third among cargo carriers, after FedEx and UPS.
  • Headquarters is consolidated from Golden, Colo. and JFK to Purchase, NY.


Navigates challenging times

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  • Founder Michael Chowdry passes away unexpectedly.
  • Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) is 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 are established in London and Miami.
  • AAWW achieves $1 billion revenue milestone.


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


  • The Company files for and successfully emerges from Chapter 11 within six months.
  • Forty-three aircraft are in operation (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.


Soars Higher

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  • AAWW stock price increases more than 170% since emerging from Chapter 11, from less than $17 per share to average trading in the upper $40s.
  • Atlas joins the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) 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 is placed for 12 new, technologically advanced Boeing 747-8 Freighters.


  • DHL Express acquires a 49% equity interest in Polar Air Cargo.
  • Asian Freight and Supply Chain names Atlas Air as Industry’s Best Charter and ACMI Operator.
  • 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 achieve globally recognized IOSA safety certification.


Spans the Globe

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  • AAWW diversifies with the founding of Titan Aviation Leasing.
  • The Company signs first passenger CMI contract with SonAir to operate premium service on the “Houston Express” between Houston, Texas and Luanda, Angola.
  • Employees begin a partnership with Junior Achievement by volunteering to teach basic economic concepts to school-age children in communities where it operates.


  • The Company 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.


  • AAWW launches 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.
  • The Company 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 are placed in ACMI service for Panalpina.
  • Boeing 767 cargo operations begins for DHL Express in North America.
  • Boeing 767 passenger service is launched for 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.


Keeps Supply Chains Moving

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  • At year-end, the Company is operating 60 aircraft and 28,245 flights to 432 airports in 123 countries.


  • The Company’s tenth Boeing 747-8F is delivered.
  • Titan acquires three additional 777F aircraft.
  • Atlas Air celebrates one millionth military passenger.


  • AAWW enters 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.
  • AAWW acquires Southern Air, adding 777Fs and 737Fs to operating portfolio.


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


Leads the Future

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  • The Company appoints John Dietrich as President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Titan and Bain Capital Credit establish Titan Aircraft Investments, a long-term dry leasing joint venture.


  • AAWW releases first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.
  • The Company provides critical support in the fight against coronavirus and supports global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Titan Aircraft Investments announces $500 million in financing facilities.
  • Atlas Air completes transoceanic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) test flight from Spain’s Zaragoza Airport.
  • The Company achieves $3 billion revenue milestone.


  • Atlas Air expands its operations in Kentucky.
  • The Company orders the final four 747-8Fs to be produced by Boeing for delivery in 2022.
  • Atlas Air serves key role in the U.S. military’s Afghanistan evacuation efforts.
  • Operating Certificate Merger with Southern Air is completed.
  • The Company achieves $4 billion revenue milestone.


  • The Company celebrates its 30-year anniversary.
  • Atlas Air announces order for four new Boeing 777-200LRF freighters: the first of the four new 777-200LRFs is expected to be delivered in November 2022 with the other three expected to be delivered throughout 2023.


  • Atlas Air Worldwide announces that the investor group led by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo, together with investment affiliates of J.F. Lehman & Company and Hill City Capital, has completed its previously announced acquisition of the Company.