Polar Air Cargo
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1993; 31 years ago (1993)
AOC #P5CA067Y[1]
Focus cities
Fleet size22
Parent companyAtlas Air Worldwide Holdings
HeadquartersPurchase, New York, United States
Key peopleJohn Dietrich

Polar Air Cargo Worldwide Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, is a cargo airline based in Purchase, New York, United States.[2] It operates scheduled all-cargo services to North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Its main base is Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, with hubs at Los Angeles International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Narita International Airport and Incheon International Airport near Seoul, South Korea.[3]


A Polar Air Cargo Boeing 767-300ERF in DHL Express colors (2013)

Polar was formed in 1993 as a joint venture between Southern Air Transport and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). It started operations in June 1993 and began with charter flights, later adding scheduled services. During 1994, Polar was certified as a supplemental air carrier by the Federal Aviation Administration and on 4 July 1994 as a US all-cargo carrier by the United States Department of Transportation. After several years of continued growth, the remainder of the company was acquired by GECAS. [citation needed]

In November 2001, Polar was acquired by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW), whose Atlas Air subsidiary is a provider of ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) freighter leasing. Polar became the scheduled service provider for AAWW, while Atlas continued to supply Boeing 747-400 freighters on a wet-lease basis to major airlines. In October 2006, it was announced that DHL Express would be acquiring a 49% stake in Polar.[4] As of March 2007, Polar is still majority-owned by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (51%) and has 736 employees.[3]

In April 2023 Former Polar Air Cargo COO Lars Winkelbauer was arrested in Thailand and charged, along with 10 others, with defrauding the company of an estimated $52m.[5]


A Polar Air Cargo Boeing 747-8F in DHL colors, departs Hong Kong International Airport. (2013)

Scheduled services

Polar provides scheduled freight service covering the transpacific, transatlantic, trans-Asia, and Middle East markets. Polar offers frequent flights to China, connecting Shanghai to the United States and multiple points in Asia and Europe, e.g., Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany & East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom[6]

Charter services

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Polar Air Cargo also offers its customers charter freight services, using its fleet of Boeing 747 and 767. Polar and its sister company, Atlas Air, also do extensive work for the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC).


Current fleet

A Polar Air Cargo Boeing 747-400F at Narita International Airport (2008)

The Polar Air Cargo fleet consists of the following aircraft:[7]

Polar Air Cargo Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Notes
Boeing 747-400F 2 Operated for Atlas Air
Boeing 747-8F 6
Boeing 767-300ERF 2 Dry-leased to customers
2 Operated for Atlas Air
Boeing 777F 2 Dry-leased to customers
8 Operated for Atlas Air
Total 22

Former fleet

Polar Air Cargo formerly operated the following aircraft:[8]

Polar Air Cargo Former Fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Boeing 747-100SF 14 1994 2006
Boeing 747-200F 4 1996 2006
Boeing 747-200SF 8 1999 2007
Boeing 747-300SF 2 2002 2004 Leased from Atlas Air


  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". av-info.faa.gov. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  2. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2016-04-26 at the Wayback Machine." Polar Air Cargo. Retrieved on February 13, 2011. "Atlas Air / Polar Air Cargo - Headquarters 2000 Westchester Avenue Purchase, NY 10577 USA"
  3. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-10. p. 64.
  4. ^ "Polar, DHL ink partnership (hktdc.com)".
  5. ^ FBI rounds-up former Polar execs charged with $52m fraud
  6. ^ "Polar Air Cargo". Archived from the original on 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
  7. ^ "Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc Annual Report 10-K".
  8. ^ "Polar Air Cargo Fleet Details and History".


Official website