Atlas Air announces purchase of competitor

Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Atlas Air has announced it is buying Polar Air Cargo for $84 million, just months after each carrier began laying off pilots and ground workers in Anchorage and other cities because of the slowing U.S. and Asian economies.

Atlas proposes to keep the two brands separate but would eliminate Polar's Boeing 747-100 fleet. Atlas said it would operate Polar's 747-400 freighters and possibly its 747-200s.

The deal is pending approval by U.S. and Japanese regulators, and that could take several months.

Neither Atlas nor Polar officials would comment on whether the takeover will lead to layoffs in Anchorage.

Colorado-based Atlas and California-based Polar use Anchorage's international airport as a fuel stop and a place to change flight crews on trans-Pacific routes.

Atlas established a pilot domicile in the city in 1999. Polar more than doubled its employees in Anchorage during the past year. It had 94 workers as of last March, according to the state.

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