US cargo operator UPS Airlines has placed an order for 14 Boeing 747-8 Freighters, providing the manufacturer with a much-needed boost. The Kentucky-based carrier has also taken purchase options on 14 additional airframes.
“These aircraft are a strategic investment for increased capacity for UPS customers around the globe,” said Brendan Canavan, President, UPS Airlines. “The 747-8 will allow UPS to upsize our network in both new and existing markets.”
UPS Airlines’ currently operates 13 747-400Fs. The newest incarnation of the jumbo provides 16% more revenue cargo volume and reduces the noise footprint around an airport by 30% compared to the carrier’s current 747s according to the manufacturer.
The order is a welcome boost for the Seattle-based planemaker, which earlier this year announced it would reduce the production rate to 0.5 aircraft per month (six per year) from September because of weakening demand in the cargo market.
Brad McMullen, vice president, Sales, North America and Leasing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes enthused: “UPS could not have selected a better aircraft to meet its growing business needs. We’ve continued to make the 747-8 Freighter even better, and we look forward to seeing UPS introduce it to its fleet.”