Cargo operator Atlas Air Worldwide (AAW), continuing to reap benefits from strong demand across its businesses, increased adjusted net income 71% year-over-year (YOY) in the second quarter and has raised its full-year revenue and profit forecasts.

AAW, parent of Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo, and Southern, posted a net profit of $49.7 million, up from $29.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased 29% YOY to $666.1 million, while volume was up 19%, to 72,660 block hours.

“We expect to continue to build on our strong performance in the second half of 2018,” CEO William Flynn said. “Air freight demand is solid and the global economy is growing.”

Bolstered by the demand, the Purchase, New York-based company has upped its full-year net profit growth to 45%-50% above 2017, up from its

previous guidance of 35%-40%. Volumes are projected to be up 19% year-over-year.

AAW remains on track to deliver the remaining Boeing 767 freighter to Amazon by year-end. It has handed over 15 of 20 aircraft slated to be leased to the carrier and operated by Atlas Air.

Meanwhile, the company continues to work on an updated labor agreement for its pilots. Last month, AAW and its Southern pilots agreed to an interim deal that brings them up to Atlas’ standards. But coming up with a new deal is proving to be more of a challenge.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), which represents the pilots, contend that AAW management is refusing to negotiate, which keeps pilots flying under low-paying contracts. IBT said the plan is backfiring, however, because demand for cargo lift is giving pilots opportunities at higher-paying operations and creating staffing challenges for Atlas.

The union said Atlas is struggling to attract enough pilots to cover both attrition and growth. It points to what it said was a record 151 “open time” 747 trips—flights left un-staffed after the normal pilot bidding process that factors in requested days off—in July as evidence.

Flynn, speaking to analysts on an Aug. 2 earnings call, said the company is “meeting the growing needs of our customers in the broader market.”

Atlas recently announced a program with GoJet that guarantees that company’s pilots interviews at the cargo carrier.

Sean Broderick, sean.broderick@aviationweek.com