UPS announced that it has ordered 14 new Boeing 747-8 cargo jets to meet increased demand for the company’s air shipping services. The 747-8s will add air capacity to the company’s busiest lanes, thereby optimizing its global air network capacity.
David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO, said, “UPS is making several strategic capital investments for increased global operating capacity. These investments will enable customers to expand their presence in new and existing markets while fuelling our profitable growth and attainment of UPS’s long term business objectives”.
The 14 aircraft are to be delivered between 2017 and 2020. The value of the contract, which also contains options for 14 additional jets in the future, was not disclosed. The new jumbo freighters will be added to the company’s existing operating fleet of more than 500 aircraft.
In addition, the 747-8 offers training and operating efficiencies to UPS. Pilots of the company’s existing 747-400 fleet will enjoy a common equipment rating, allowing them to fly both aircraft types. Furthermore, UPS will realize greater economies of scale in maintenance and ground handling by operating the new aircraft line.
The 747-8 freighters carry 34 shipping containers on the main deck and 14 in the lower compartments. Each freighter has a cargo capacity of 307,600lb, or approximately 30,000 packages and a range of 4,340 nautical miles.
Brendan Canavan, UPS Airlines President, said, “We benefit from the youngest fleet in the industry and we are continuously investing for both operating safety and efficiency”.
He added, “This investment supports our customers’ future capacity needs while also reducing fuel use and emissions, which enhances UPS Airlines’ position as an industry leader in sustainability”.
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