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West African Charter Link Service For USAEA

Atlas Air : 04 June, 2010  (Application Story)
The United States-Africa Energy Association will benefit from a new link from Atlas Air between Houston and Angola
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has launched new outsourced premium passenger private charter service on behalf of the United States-Africa Energy Association (USAEA). The service, known as the “Houston Express,” has been made possible by a commercial arrangement with USAEA’s agent, SonAir-Serviço Aéreo (SonAir), an Angolan company.

Beginning this week, Atlas Air is operating three weekly nonstop flights between George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and Luanda, Angola. The newly customized Boeing 747-400 aircraft, provided by SonAir’s parent company, feature 10 First Class, 143 Business Class and 36 Economy Class seats with the latest in-flight entertainment and comfort.

Not available to the public, the service provides USAEA members with a premium, nonstop link to support long-term energy projects in West Africa.

The flights depart Houston on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the 14-hour, 20 minute eastbound journey, returning from Luanda on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with a flight time of 15:05.

The first round-trip flight arrived in Houston today – constituting the first Atlas-operated aircraft carrying passengers.

“This is an important moment for our company as we leverage our record of reliability and operational excellence as the largest Boeing 747-400 freighter provider in the world to introduce outsourced charter passenger service,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAWW. “We are delighted to work closely and cooperatively with SonAir to make the Houston Express a world-class, comfortable experience.”

“The Houston Airport System is pleased to welcome Atlas Air to George Bush Intercontinental Airport to operate charter nonstop flights to Luanda, Angola, and West Africa from Houston,” said Robert Wigington, Deputy Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Affairs. “We are excited to be the global gateway for Houston-based firms that benefit from the new Houston Express.”

Atlas Air’s agreement with SonAir is consistent with the outsourcing business model under which Atlas Air typically operates. Under that model, Atlas Air receives contractually determined revenues for the operation of the aircraft, with the customer assuming responsibility for revenue generation and certain direct costs, including fuel.

SonAir is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonangol Group, the multinational energy company of Angola and a member of USAEA. USAEA’s members include many of the leading US energy companies involved in the exploration and development of petroleum resources in West Africa.
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