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Mass(ive) Appeal: UPS Orders Eight New 747 Freighters

That Makes 21 Orders For The Boeing Jumbo Jet

UPS says it's ordered eight 747-400 freighters, bringing to 21 the total number of jumbo jets ordered so far this year. That's a far cry from the three that were ordered in 2003 and more than twice the ten that were ordered last year.

The firm order is the first UPS order placed directly with Boeing for the 747 Freighter family and the carrier's first for 747-400 Freighters.

The first delivery is scheduled for June 2007 with two additional deliveries that year, followed by the remaining five deliveries in 2008. UPS has selected General Electric CF6-80C2-B1F engines to power the new airplanes.

"UPS has been an important Boeing customer for more than 20 years," said Ray Conner, vice president, Sales – Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 747-400 Freighter, with its unique capabilities, will enable outstanding efficiency and economy as UPS takes advantage of continuing high international cargo traffic growth.”

"The purchase of these Boeing 747-400 freighters is a part of UPS's ongoing effort to accommodate strong international volume growth and will allow UPS to continue to increase capacity on our most important international routes," said Bob Lekites, UPS vice president of Airline and International Operations.

In its most recent World Air Cargo Forecast, released in September 2004, Boeing forecasts international air cargo growth to average 6.2 percent over the next 20 years, with Asia-related routes exceeding that average. Intra-Asia markets will expand by 8.5 percent, North America-Asia will increase 7.2 percent and Europe-Asia will average 6.7 percent growth.

The 747-400F can carry a maximum 120 tons of cargo, 25 tons more cargo than the 747-200 Freighters currently in the UPS fleet. In addition to the higher payload capability of 250,000 pounds (113 tonnes), the 747-400F consumes 15 percent less fuel than its predecessor, allowing the airplane to fly farther and to more destinations.

UPS is also a key MD-11 Freighter operator, with a fleet of 20 airplanes, with eight future deliveries, and the MD-11 is a primary aircraft flying the carrier's international trunk routes.

Previously, UPS has ordered 107 Boeing factory-built freighters including 75 757-200 Package Freighters and 32 767-300 Freighters. UPS operates an extensive Boeing fleet, which also includes 727-100, 747-100 and -200 and DC-8-71 and -73 Freighter models.

Given the current boom in world trade -- much of it between the US and Asia -- Boeing is now considering the development of a "747 Advanced." It would be an updated version of the current model and it already has one customer ready to sign up. Luxembourg's Cargolux Airlines International SAS says it's in talks with Boeing now to purchase at least ten of the Advanced models to replace its current fleet of jumbo jets.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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