The giant U.S.-based parcels delivery company, United Parcel Service (UPS) started business back in 1907 in Seattle and was at that time named American Messenger Company. Since then there has been no looking back. Today UPS is one of the world’s largest parcels and freight delivery companies and since 1975 has been operating U.S. domestic and international freight flights with their daughter company, UPS Airlines. Now they decided to extend the lifespan of their Boeing 757Fs, 767Fs and Airbus A300Fs by installing upgraded cockpit systems.
An impressive fleet of aircraft
It’s not just UPS’s vast fleet of brown and golden trucks which constantly make the headlines. UPS Airlines which started international services with flights between the USA and Canada, today operates across the globe with a fleet of almost 250 freighter aircraft and works out of various hubs in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Of those 250 or so aircraft, around 190 are what one would today term as “aging models.” The carrier which also operates more modern B747-400 and B747-8 freighters still uses smaller medium range freighters such as the B757-200PF, of which they have 75 in their fleet. On top of this there are another 59 B767-300ERF freighters mainly operating on domestic and South American routes. The carrier’s fleet of Airbus A300-600RF totals 52 units, are still needed for domestic services and will also receive new avionics.
UPS recently placed an order with Boeing for a further eighteen B747-8Fs. This order ensures that the 747F production line stays open for some time to come.
Cockpit updates for 757Fs and 767Fs
Whereas some other parcels operators are ordering newer converted B757 or B767 aircraft, UPS has decided to extend the operating life of their aircraft by installing new cockpit systems for their Boeing 757 and 767 fleet and the Airbus A300Fs.
The B757 upgrades concentrate on the installation of three large-format LCD displays to replace the out-of-date cathode ray tube screens. Engine indication, crew alerting systems and other older flight instruments will be replaced by modern ones. Both the 757 and 767 avionics systems will be supplied by Rockwell Collins and cockpit certification which has already started is being carried out by VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, a Mobile, Alabama-based MRO specialist. The complete overhaul is expected to be finished by 2020.
The UPS Airbus A300 fleet will also get a heavy cockpit overhaul with new integrated avionics, main computers flight management systems and much more. Airbus itself will perform certification and the modifications will be carried out also by them. Work is expected to start in 2020.
The new modifications will then allow UPS Airlines to continue operating their A300Fs, 757Fs and 767Fs up until at least 2035.
Good second quarter results
United Parcel Service group revenues for Q2 of this year rose by 9.6% to US$17.5 billion. The increased revenues were mainly attributed to the international supply chain and freight division, who UPS state saw double-digit growth in Q2.
International revenues went up by 14% to US$3.6 billion and adjusted operating profit in this sector increased by 15% to US$654 million. Supply chain and freight revenues went up by 165 to US$3.5 billion and an operating profit of US$247 million.
John Mc Donagh