Polar was established in 1993 as a joint venture between Southern Air Transport and Polaris. The first aircraft model was 747-100, followed by 747-200. By 1996 Polar expanded and was ready for bigger things.
In 1998, Polar was acquired 100% by GECAS. With new management came new direction. Looking at the future, investments were made in new technologies, which came in the form of Boeing 747-400.
Polar has expanded from an initial flight from New York to Shannon, Ireland, to a scheduled route network serving the world’s major economic regions.
In November 2001, Polar was acquired by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, whose Atlas Air, Inc. subsidiary is the world’s leading provider of ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) freighter leasing. Polar relocated from Long beach, CA to Purchase, NY.
In June 2007, Polar closed on a strategic transaction with DHL Express that gives DHL a 49% equity interest, including a 25% voting interest, in Polar. A related commercial arrangement includes blocked-space on Polar flights and flight-service support agreements, ensuring that DHL Express has access to aircraft capacity in key global markets. At the same time, we continue to serve our freight-forwarder customers with convenient schedules on existing routes.
In 2018, Polar celebrated the 10 year anniversary for the joint venture between DHL Express, Atlas Air and Polar. It also marks the 25th anniversary since the founding of Polar Air Cargo. Fast forward to today, Polar has 17 Aircrafts, with 211 departures per week.
Polar has also invested in its own warehouses in Los Angeles and Cincinnati, with more to come.