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Why UPS Is Buying 14 More 747s

February 2, 2018, 9:45 AM UTC

The rise of express deliveries and the recent U.S. tax reform have led UPS to order another 14 Boeing 747-8 cargo jets, the logistics firm has announced.

747s may be out of favor with passenger carriers these days, supplanted by newer, more efficient planes, but UPS is still a fan of the freighter model. It also ordered 14 of them in 2016, and all the planes are scheduled to enter service by the end of 2022.

People are demanding more and more express deliveries these days, UPS said. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday that air freight growth was greater last year than at any time since 2010.

“Our intra-U.S. next-day and deferred air shipments are expanding to record levels, and UPS’s International segment has produced four consecutive quarters of double-digit export shipment growth,” explained UPS CEO David Abney.

UPS Airlines President Brendan Canavan said the new freighters would allow UPS to “upsize” its fleets with a “cascading effect that will boost capacity on regional routes around the world.”

According to UPS, the new tax law has made it possible for the company to “significantly increase capital investments and to make them earlier than planned.”

The tax law has led a string of companies to announce windfalls, the most recent being AT&T. Boeing itself announced such a windfall earlier this week.