UPS From 1981-1990

UPS Airlines

UPS Airlines

1981 - 1988

The demand for air parcel delivery increased in the 1980s, and federal deregulation of the airline industry created new opportunities for UPS. But deregulation also caused change, as established airlines reduced flights and abandoned some routes altogether. To ensure dependability, UPS began to assemble its own jet cargo fleet.

With growing demand for faster service, UPS entered the overnight air delivery business, and by 1985 UPS Next Day Air service was available in all 48 states and Puerto Rico. Alaska and Hawaii were added later. That same year, UPS entered a new era with international air package and document service, linking the US and six European nations. In 1988, UPS received authorisation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate its own aircraft, thereby officially becoming an airline. Recruiting the best people available, UPS merged a number of cultures and procedures into a seamless operation called UPS Airlines.

UPS Airlines was the fastest-growing airline in FAA history, formed in little more than one year with all the necessary technology and support systems. Today, UPS Airlines is one of the 10 largest airlines in the United States. UPS Airlines features some of the most advanced information systems in the world, like the Computerised Operations Monitoring, Planning and Scheduling System (COMPASS), which provides information for flight planning, scheduling and load handling. The system, which can be used to plan optimum flight schedules up to six years in advance, is unique in the industry.

International Growth

International Growth

1988 - 1990

UPS first went international in 1975 when it offered services within the Canadian city of Toronto. Operations in Germany got underway the next year. The 1980s saw UPS enter the international shipping market in earnest; the company established a presence in a growing number of countries and territories in the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Rim. In 1985, UPS started international air service between the United States and six European countries. Then, in 1989, domestic air service was added in Germany.

Today, UPS operates an international small package and document network in more than 185 countries and territories, spanning both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. With its international service, UPS can reach over four billion people, twice the number of people who can be reached by any telephone network.

UPS Time Capsule


UPS Time Capsule 1981-1990

Purchased first aircraft for use in air delivery service.

Began operations from Louisville air hub.

Started international air service between US and six European countries.

UPS receives authorisation from the FAA to operate its own aircraft, thereby officially becoming an airline.

Worldwide Express Service expands to deliver packages and documents to more than 175 countries (from 104 countries).

First scheduled flights to Asia on UPS aircraft.