Boeing teams work to meet demand for new freighters

Carriers providing vital goods during pandemic rely on their Boeing fleet

May 08, 2020 in Our Commitment

Boeing test pilot Troy Larson has helped to prepare plenty of airplanes for delivery and his latest assignment, a 767-300 Freighter destined for UPS, comes at a pressing time.

“I get a lot of satisfaction about doing my part to get these airplanes ready to go to our customers,” said Larson. “We are taking every precaution to make sure we’re doing our work safely and looking out for each other so that we can take care of our customers, too.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, cargo and defense aircraft are considered essential to keep the world’s health workers supplied and the economic and social fabric stitched together. Cargo fleets are working at peak capacity, with 90% of that capacity fueled by Boeing aircraft.

Dedicated cargo operators like UPS are depending on their fleets to move vital goods around the world.

Troy Larson (left) and Greg McCann (right), Boeing test pilots, conduct a pre-flight check in preparation for flight tests of a new 767-300 Freighter to be delivered to UPS.

Davis Wahlman photo

“We’ve deployed the unmatched capabilities of our 747-8 and 767-300 Freighters to help in the COVID-19 efforts”, said Brendan Canavan, president of UPS Airlines. “Now, more than ever, our expectations of high-quality reliable aircraft are imperative. We look forward to adding another 767 to our fleet to help us increase capacity at a critical time.”

To meet the demand, 747/767 teams continued to work through temporary factory production suspensions last month to deliver freighters as well as military tankers -- which are derived from the 767 airframe.  Most recently, 747/767 program teammates have been working hard to build and test UPS’s newest addition.

“This team has an enormous sense of pride knowing that their work is essential to global transportation and stability,” said Kim Smith, 747/767 vice president and general manager.

“Our freighter customers are depending on our aircraft to move critical products and equipment for COVID-19 relief,” she said. “And the U.S. Air Force is looking to us to build, test and deliver the KC-46 Tanker to the servicemen and women protecting America.”

Shaniqua Manning Muhammad and Davis Wahlman

Capt. Troy Larson, a Boeing test pilot, checks the expansive cargo-carrying interior of a new 767-300 Freighter to be delivered to UPS

Davis Wahlman photo