Recent reports that UPS has started to raise fuel surcharges on international flights by 18% and a smaller amount on US domestic, has raised the prospect, argued vociferously by some pilots and analysts, that the airline is having to do it to pay for wet lease operators that are carrying more and more of its cargo.
Pilots are blaming UPS for failing to order new aircraft soon enough – although the 2017 cargo boom, which seems to be continuing into 2018, was not one easily predicted.
Several airlines are believed, but refused to confirm, that they are working on behalf of UPS and some analysts think DHL and FedEx are also struggling with volumes, especially on the trans-Pacific routes.
UPS ordered up to 35 747-8F’s and another three 767-300F’s last year, but delivery time is slow. When they’re all in service it will raise UPS capacity by 30%.