NEW YORK - US shipping company UPS announced Thursday it will buy 14 Boeing freighter aircraft, and has an option to buy 14 more, to increase fleet capacity.
The Atlanta-based shipping firm will buy Boeing's 747-8 planes, which will allow it to "begin a cascade of aircraft route reassignments that will add significant air capacity to the company's busiest lanes," it said in a statement.
"These aircraft are a strategic investment for increased capacity for UPS customers around the globe," said UPS Airlines president Brendan Canavan.
Boeing will deliver the first planes late next year, with the rest delivered by 2020, UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot told AFP. The option for the additional 14 planes is open-ended.
He said the aircraft will not be replacing older planes, but simply add to the UPS fleet of more than 500 aircraft.
The 747-8 Freighter has 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400F, which makes it more cost efficient for shippers.
Earlier Thursday UPS announced that it expects record deliveries of more than 700 million packages in the holiday season, through the end of December, an increase of more than 14 percent over last year, with two additional delivery days compared to 2015.
And it expects to hit records on 13 of the 21 delivery days before Christmas, with more than 30 million packages dispatched, most delivered by the ubiquitous brown UPS trucks.