Polar Air Cargo Pilot Hat Badge 1st Issue
Purchase, NY 1993-Current
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 FAA and on July 4, 1994 as a US all-cargo carrier by the U.S. Department of Transportation. After several years of continued growth, the remainder of the company was acquired by GECAS. In November 2001, Polar was acquired by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW), whose Atlas Air subsidiary is a leading provider of ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) freighter leasing. Polar became the scheduled service provider for AAWW, while Atlas continued to supply B-747 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, with that deal now finalised. Polar is still majority-owned by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (51%) and 49% owned by DHL Express.
NOTE: The flight crew insignia of Polar Airlines are no longer worn by the crew. Both Atlas and Polar wear the insignia of Atlas Airlines.