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Moving to expand the capacity of its air network to accommodate strong international growth, UPS has issued a firm order for 10 A380 super-jumbo freighter aircraft made by Airbus.
“The A380 will allow UPS to effectively meet the fast-growing demands of our customers across a variety of global trade lanes,”” said John Beystehner, UPS chief operating officer and president of UPS Airlines. “”This plane offers an exciting combination of payload and range that will help improve both the capability and efficiency of our international network.””
“”We are extraordinarily pleased to have UPS join the growing list of A380 customers, particularly because their order demonstrates the strength of the aircraft as a freighter for air carriers based around the world,”” said Noël Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. “UPS became a new Airbus customer in 1998, and the fact that they have strengthened their commitment to the Airbus product line in such a relatively short amount of time is a testament to both UPS’ success in the marketplace and their confidence in our aircraft.”
Deliveries of UPS’s A380s are scheduled to begin in 2009 and run through 2012. The order also gives UPS the option to purchase 10 more of the planes. The purchase price of the aircraft was not disclosed, nor has UPS made an engine selection for the A380.
Under the agreement regarding A300 aircraft, UPS is reducing its previous order for 90 planes to 53. To date, 40 A300s have been delivered and the remaining 13 will be delivered by July 2006.
The A380 has the capacity to carry three decks of cargo with container capacity of nearly 40,000 cubic feet and a maximum structural payload of 330,000 pounds. With a range of 5,600 nautical miles, the A380 can fly non-stop to places around the world that used to take two or more flights.
UPS’s international business has been very strong. During the third quarter of 2004, for example, UPS’s total international export volume climbed 13.2% over the prior-year period. Asia export volume increased 29% and export volume out of China more than doubled compared to the prior year.
“”We continually evaluate and adjust the company’s air network to meet the needs of our customers,”” Beystehner added. “”Our strong international growth has increased our need for larger aircraft and the super jumbo is part of that solution.””
Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS is the third U.S.-based customer for the A380. Including the UPS deal, there are 149 orders and commitments for A380s from 14 customers. The UPS A380F will carry a freight load of 330,000 pounds on three decks, with a cargo volume capacity of 40,000 cubic feet, a distance of some 5,600 nautical miles.
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