United Parcel Service (UPS) has ordered 60 Airbus A300-600 freighter aircraft in a deal estimated to be worth US $6 billion. The order comes two years after UPS placed its first Airbus order.
UPS said its decision to order more Airbus freighters was driven by a need for more widebody shorter-haul jet freighters that can operate economically on varied routes on a regional basis.
The airline considered several new and used aircraft types, but judged the Airbus A300-600 as having the best combination of reliability, operating characteristics, extended acquisition economics and environmental friendliness.
‘We need to be prepared to deploy a modern jet freighter that’s flexible enough to operate anywhere,’ said Bob Lekites, Vice President, UPS Airlines Operations.
‘This UPS order for one of Airbus’ original widebody aircraft, and its most successful freighter, is a huge endorsement of the strength of the Airbus product line,’ said NoÃ«l Forgeard, Airbus Chief Executive Officer.
UPS has taken delivery of seven of 30 A300-600s ordered in 1998, and along with the order for 60 announced on January 9, 2001, will total 90 A300-600 freighters.
The UPS A300-600 freighters have the capacity to carry 22 A2H containers on the main deck and seven LD9 containers on the lower deck.
With a structural payload of 109,600 pounds and a range of 2,500 nautical miles, the A300-600 freighter is said to meet the strictest US and European noise and emission reduction standards.
The newly ordered A300-600 freighters will be delivered to UPS from 2003 to 2009 for operation on routes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.