UPS Offers Buyouts to 167 Pilots as Air Cargo Slumps

Severance Package Includes Cash, Health Care Benefits
UPS cargo plane
Tail section of a UPS cargo jet. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News)

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UPS Inc. is offering a voluntary severance package for 167 pilots amid a slump in air freight volume.

“As part of our effort to efficiently manage our airline, we are offering a voluntary separation benefit to eligible UPS pilots,” UPS said in a statement. The company is seeking to convince 157 captains and 10 first officers to accept the offer, said a spokesman for the Independent Pilots Association, the union that represents the 3,400 UPS pilots. The offer was first reported by WDRB in Louisville, Ky.

Airfreight demand has dropped as consumers shifted spending to services and away from the goods that fueled a boom of package delivery during the pandemic. Volume at UPS’ international segment fell 6.6% in the second quarter from a year ago and international flight hours dropped 9.4%.

The offer will include cash and health care benefits for the pilots who accept, the company said in the statement. UPS announced earlier this month it had reduced management positions by 2,500 during the second quarter from a year ago.

UPS Inc. ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

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