Atlas Air starts Dreamlifter services

ATLAS Air has launched its Dreamlifter service for Boeing. This follows the previously announced nine-year agreement that abruptly took the contract away from Evergreen.

The Dreamlifter aircraft have been specially modified by Boeing to transport major assemblies for its 787 Dreamliner from suppliers around the world to Boeing production facilities in the United States.

“The first flight of our new Dreamlifter fleet service for Boeing marks an exciting start to a long-term partnership with the world’s leading aerospace company,” said William Flynn, chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings.

Evergreen is less excited and is suing Boeing. It alleges that Boeing transferred the contract as compensation to Atlas because of the delayed delivery of 12 747-8 freighters that Atlas has on order. The compensation would have cost Boeing nearly US1$ billion.

“Boeing dropped Evergreen in favour of Atlas to avert the multi-million dollar disaster that was looming over the 747-8 program,” said Evergreen’s chairman, Tim Wahlberg. “Atlas has 12 747-8 freighters on order, with options for another 14. A Boeing employee informed an Evergreen employee that Boeing’s liability for penalties to Atlas approached $1 billion. By at least October 2009, Atlas had made a claim with Boeing for refunds resulting from Boeing’s failure to meet delivery guarantees to Atlas.”

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