UPS has announced it has ordered 14 new Boeing 747-8 cargo jets to meet increased demand for the company’s air shipping services.
David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO commented: “UPS is making several strategic capital investments for increased global operating capacity. These investments will help 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.
The 747-8 freighters carry 34 shipping containers on its main deck and 14 in its lower compartments. The -8 has a cargo capacity of 307,600 pounds, or approximately 30,000 packages and a range of 4,340 nautical miles.
The announcement is especially good news for Boeing who had recently warned that a lack of orders for the 747-8 might force it to close its production line.