|Destinations||727 (381 domestic, 346 international)|
|Company slogan||Worldwide Services|
|Parent company||United Parcel Service Inc.|
|Key people||Brendan Canavan (President)|
UPS Airlines is an American cargo airline owned by United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS). The company is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Its international all-points air hub, Worldport, is based at Louisville International Airport. The pilots are represented by the Independent Pilots Association.
The origin of transporting packages by air for UPS (then United Parcel Service) dates to 1929; much like the U.S Postal Service, UPS packages were transported as baggage on commercial airline flights. Many packages were shipped by the Ford Trimotors of United Airlines. After Black Tuesday and the beginning of the Great Depression, the air service would be discontinued by the end of 1931. However, the air service would lead to the expansion beyond the West Coast; in 1930, the company moved operations from Oakland to New York City and established operations in other regions across the country as well.
After World War II, UPS (in the process of acquiring common carrier rights for every address in the United States) revisited the idea of shipping packages by air. Starting in 1953, 2-day delivery was offered on coast-to-coast packages; the service was called Blue Label Air. As before, volume was transported via commercial flights. Initially unprofitable, Blue Label Air became popular as its speed created enough demand to maintain a profit.
In 1975, UPS started its first international operations as it moved into Canada. The following year it started a service into Germany. As UPS had become a truly international company the need for its own fleet of aircraft was becoming more clearly apparent rather than relying on commercial flights. Additionally, competitor Federal Express, with its own jet fleet, was making inroads on UPS and had become profitable for the first time in 1976. In 1978 the Airline Deregulation Act gave UPS a significant opportunity: the company could now establish its own airline and flying from city to city would require far fewer legislative hurdles as the federal government now encouraged competition between airlines. In 1980 UPS opened its first major hub, located in Louisville, Kentucky. The location was chosen largely because it is no more than three hours flying distance (by jet) from the majority of the continental United States. In addition, Louisville has relatively mild weather and is at the westernmost point of the Eastern time zone. Also in the early 1980s the company began acquiring a fleet of jet aircraft recently retired from commercial aircraft duty comprising Douglas DC-8s, Boeing 727-100s and Boeing 747-100s.
In 1988, UPS Airlines was founded; at the time of its founding, UPS had a route network serving 41 countries connecting the United States to Asia and Europe. Coinciding with the launch of its airline, UPS expanded and modernized its jet fleet with a major aircraft purchase. In place of converted passenger aircraft, UPS purchased dedicated freighter variants of the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767, becoming the launch customer of both types. Starting in 1987, 75 757-200s were added to the fleet while 32 767-300s were added to the fleet starting in 1995.
In the 1990s, the airline began to expand its network beyond the Louisville hub with facilities in Rockford, Illinois (Chicago); Philadelphia; Dallas/Fort Worth; Columbia, South Carolina; and Ontario, California (Los Angeles).
With most of its aircraft flying primarily on weeknights, the airline was eager to find other ways to produce income from its fleet. In the 1990s, eight 727 freighters were converted (at a cost of $2.5 million each) into 727-100QC (QC=Quick Change) freighters with the ability to be re-converted into passenger aircraft for the purpose of charters
During the 2000s (decade), the makeup of the UPS Airlines fleet saw extensive change. In 2000, the first Airbus A300 freighters entered service. Marking the entry of the first non-Boeing/Douglas aircraft to the fleet, the airline ordered 90 of the freighters. In 2001, after disappointing results, UPS withdrew its 727 quick-change freighters from charter service. The same year, UPS began its first flights to China, six days a week.
As part of the company rebranding from United Parcel Service to UPS in early 2003, the airline redesigned its aircraft livery, featuring the redesigned company "shield" logo on the vertical stabilizer.
In the mid-2000s, the Boeing 727s (the oldest and lowest-capacity aircraft of the airline) were retired. From 2008 to 2009, the airline had also retired its 747 fleet (consisting of 747-100 and 747-200s built in the 1970s). During 2009, the airline retired its DC-8 fleet; at the time, nearly half the active DC-8 fleet of the entire world was operated by UPS.
In September 2002, UPS completed its five-year expansion of its international all-points air hub called Worldport in Louisville. In 2006 and 2010, UPS had completed further expansions of Worldport, bringing the facility to 5.2 million square feet, with a perimeter of 7.2 miles.
On February 8, 2010 UPS announced the plans to furlough at least 300 pilots in 2010 and 2011, cancelling the agreement reached in 2009 between UPS and the Independent Pilots Association. The remaining pilots not furloughed demonstrated unprecedented unity by not flying overtime while colleagues were laid off. UPS decided to reduce the furlough to 109 pilots. The final pilot furloughed was in August, 2010. UPS decided to recall pilots back to work in December, 2011. The furlough officially ended in May, 2014 when the first pilot furloughed returned to work.
Each day, UPS Airlines flies to over 200 countries and territories worldwide, serving 388 US airports with 936 flight segments and 378 international airports with 755 flight segments Using the traditional hub-and-spoke model, UPS Airlines operates through its central facility, Worldport, in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, the company operates several facilities on a regional level across the United States.
- Louisville International Airport (Standiford Field) in Louisville, Kentucky, the primary hub of UPS Airlines, and home to Worldport and the corporate headquarters of UPS Airlines. With approximately 251 inbound and outbound flights daily, the service area for Worldport is over 200 countries worldwide. Approximately each hour, the facility handles 416,000 individual packages. Along with the 5.2 million square foot Worldport facility, UPS also operates a 654,000 square foot freight facility at the airport.
- Chicago Rockford International Airport in Rockford, Illinois, the second-largest hub of UPS Airlines in terms of average daily package volume. 85 miles northwest of Chicago, the Rockford Regional Air Hub directly serves Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, Washington DC, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, California, Arizona, and Washington State. Approximately each hour, the facility handles 121,000 individual packages. Along with the 586,000 square-foot package-sorting facility, UPS also operates a 65,000 square-foot freight facility; the 50-acre UPS ramp has parking for 40 aircraft, the most outside of Worldport.
- Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second-busiest UPS facility in North America, in terms of daily flights. The East Coast Region Air Hub directly serves Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Deleware, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, and California. Approximately each hour, the facility handles 95,000 individual packages. Along with the 681,000 square-foot package-sorting facility, UPS also operates a 66,000 square-foot freight facility.
- Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California. 35 miles east of Los Angeles, the West Coast Region Air Hub directly serves California, Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas and Nebraska along with Alaska and Hawaii. Approximately each hour, the facility handles 67,000 individual packages. Along with the 779,000 square-foot package-sorting facility, UPS also operates a 49,000 square-foot freight facility.
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport The Southwest Region Air Hub directly serves Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Approximately each hour, the facility handles 46,000 individual packages. Along with the 323,000 square-foot package-sorting facility, UPS also operates a 49,000 square-foot freight facility.
- Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Columbia, South Carolina. The Southeast Region Air Hub directly serves South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Approximately each hour in the 281,000 square foot facility, the facility handles 41,000 individual packages, which makes it the smallest hub in the United States.
UPS Airlines operates several international hubs worldwide outside of Worldport. Two are in North America with one in Europe; three are located in China, and one in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
- Miami International Airport in Miami-Dade County, Florida. With a service area containing primarily Central and South America, the Latin America/Caribbean Hub also handles domestic packages.for the southern United States. Approximately each hour in the 36,000 square foot facility, the facility handles 6,500 individual packages.
- John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in Mount Hope, Hamilton, Ontario. The Canada Air Hub provides service for the entire country of Canada. Approximately each hour in the 31,000 square foot facility, the facility handles 6,000 individual packages.
- Cologne Bonn Airport in Cologne, Germany. Similar to Worldport, the Cologne Hub has a service area of over 200 countries; to do so, many flights chartered by the company originate from here. Second only to Worldport and the Rockford hub, the Cologne Hub handles 110,000 packages an hour in the 323,000 square foot (30,000 square metres) facility; with 72 average flights per day, it is the second-busiest UPS hub worldwide, in terms of daily flights.
- Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport in Shenzen, China. At 960,000 square feet, it is one of the largest facilities, meant to sort all packages traveling into and out of Asia, as well as handle packages traveling within Asia; approximately 18,000 packages an hour are sorted.
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Pudong, Shanghai, China. Similar to the Shenzen facility, the Shanghai facility organizes all UPS packages traveling into and out of China from destinations worldwide; approximately 17,000 packages an hour are sorted.
- Hong Kong International Airport in Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong. With a service area containing transferring packages to Asia from Europe (and vice versa), the 45,000 square foot facility sorts approximately 4,500 packages an hour.
As of 2016, UPS Airlines has an active fleet of 237 Jet aircraft. The airline does not own any turboprop, short-haul aircraft, instead chartering those aircraft from companies such as Air Cargo Carriers and Ameriflight
In January 2005, UPS Airlines placed an order for 10 freighter versions of the Airbus A380 with an option for 10 more. As part of the deal the airline reduced an existing commitment for 90 Airbus A300 freighters to 53. In March 2007 the order was cancelled, citing production delays that pushed the initial delivery date beyond 2012. In August 2005 the airline ordered 8 Boeing 747-400s to increase capacity on its major trunk routes to Europe, Asia and North America. Deliveries of these aircraft started in June 2007. UPS Airlines placed a firm order for 27 additional Boeing 767–300 Freighters in February 2007 to be delivered from 2009 to 2013.
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From its 1988 formation to 2003, UPS Airlines used a bi-color brown and white livery on its aircraft. Most of the fuselage was painted white with the vertical stabilizer painted the same Pullman Brown as its delivery vehicles. On the centerline of the fuselage, a brown cheatline was applied; as its 727, DC-8, MD-11, and 747 fleet were converted passenger aircraft, this was done to further cover up the passenger windows. On the forward third of the fuselage above the cheatline was painted: "United Parcel Service".
In 2003, to commemorate the official name change of United Parcel Service to UPS, the company logo was given a redesign along with a redesign of the UPS Airlines livery. With nearly the entire fuselage painted white, the brown portion of the tail was changed to sweep above the rear fuselage, coming to a point near the front of the wing; the white and brown portions of the fuselage were separated by a gold stripe. In place of the "United Parcel Service" was painted in two lines: "Worldwide Services: Synchronizing the world of commerce". The only aircraft in the UPS Airlines fleet that did not adopt the "Worldwide Services" livery were the Boeing 747-100, Boeing 747-200, along with the majority of the Boeing 727 fleet, as these aircraft were in the process of being phased out in the mid-2000s.
In 2014, UPS Airlines began to modify its "Worldwide Services" livery throughout its fleet by removing the phrase "Synchronizing the world of commerce" from the fuselage and modifying the gold stripe and UPS emblem. Both are painted in a brighter shade, and the UPS emblem was modified by the removal of the gradient shading within the background. As of July 2015, more than half of the company's Boeing 757-200 had been repainted in the updated livery with a select few Airbus A300-600 painted as well. On March 15, 2016 the airline announced that 40 aircraft will be painted in 2016, to be completed at Dean Baldwin Painting in Peru, Indiana, just a 30-minute flight from Louisville.
Use of Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) to save fuel
UPS Airlines is experimenting with a Global Positioning System-based landing procedure, called Continuous-Descent Approach at the Worldport, replacing the traditional holding pattern and step-wise descent. CDA is used to reduce the time and fuel needed to approach a runway and land by eliminating the need to alternatively reduce and increase throttle to descend and level off. UPS Airlines estimates that this procedure saves an average of 250 to 465 lbs (110–210 kilograms) of fuel per flight. CDA is part of the Federal Aviation Administration's long-term "Next-Gen" air traffic control plan.
Accidents and incidents
|Flight Number||Date||Registration||Aircraft Type||Survivors/Occupants||Notes|
|774||09-11-1998||N316UP||Boeing 767–34AF||2/2||Suffered substantial damage after running off the runway at Ellington Field from Louisville International Airport. The airport was experiencing a major storm at the time of the landing, and the aircraft was unable to stop on a wet runway with a strong tailwind. After running off the runway, the aircraft's right landing gear broke off and the right engine separated from the wing. The aircraft was put back into service after major repairs.|
|6971||06-07-2005||N250UP||McDonnell Douglas MD-11F||4/4||Suffered substantial damage after a landing gear collapse at Louisville International Airport from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The crew accidentally lowered the nose of the aircraft too quickly, buckling the front landing gear. The aircraft was put back into service after a $10 million repair.|
|1307||02-07-2006||N748UP||Douglas DC-8-71F||3/3||Destroyed by fire at Philadelphia International Airport from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Just before landing the crew reported a smoke detector activated in the cargo hold. After landing, the cargo hold of the aircraft caught fire. The source of the fire was never found.|
|6||09-03-2010||N571UP||Boeing 747-44AF||0/2||Crashed near the Dubai Silicon Oasis at approximately 7:45pm local time after declaring an emergency fifty minutes after takeoff due to fire in main cargo hold. Both crew members were killed, the first such casualties in airline history. NTSB reports the fire was started from the combustion of Lithium-Ion batteries on the main cargo deck, which quickly spread to all cargo despite depressurization of the aircraft.|
|1354||08-14-2013||N155UP||Airbus A300F4-622R||0/2||Crashed in an open field on approach to Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama killing both the pilot and co-pilot. NTSB report cites pilot error as cause to the crash. Both crew members had not received adequate rest before the flight and missed a step in programing the FMC for the approach to the runway.|
|61||06-06-2016||N277UP||McDonnell Douglas MD-11F||4/4||Suffered a runway excursion and nose gear collapse in a takeoff accident at Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN). Takeoff from runway 33L was aborted and the aircraft continued past the end of the runway. The nose gear collapsed and the no. 1 and 3 engines contacted the grass. The flight was bound for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. |
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- Getting Air Traffic Under Control, Time Magazine, October 19, 2009, p.Global 8
- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 767-34AF N316UP Houston-Ellington Field, TX (EFD)". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N250UP Louisville-Standiford Field, KY (SDF)". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71F N748UP Philadelphia International Airport, PA (PHL)". Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "Statement on Aircraft Incident." United Parcel Service. September 3, 2010. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
- "Plane crashes near Dubai airport – Middle East". Al Jazeera English. September 4, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-44AF (SCD) N571UP Dubai Airport (DXB)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
- "." United Parcel Service. August 14, 2013. Retrieved on August 14, 2013.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, AL (BHM)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
- Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N277UP Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN)".
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