UPS has joined the growing list of worldwide carriers to select the A380. Specifically, the Atlanta, Georgia-based company has agreed to purchase 10 freighter versions of the A380, with options for an additional 10. UPS will take delivery of its first A380F in 2009. The carrier has not yet announced its engine selection for the aircraft.

“The A380 will allow UPS to effectively meet the fast-growing demands of its customers across a variety of global trade lanes,” said John Beystehner, UPS Chief Operating Officer and President of UPS Airlines. “This plane offers an exciting combination of payload and range that will help improve both the capability and efficiency of our international network.”

“We are extraordinarily pleased to have UPS join the growing list of A380 customers, particularly because their order demonstrates the strength of the aircraft as a freighter, for the U.S. market and beyond,” said Noël Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. “UPS became a new Airbus customer in 1998, and the fact that they have strengthened their commitment to the Airbus product line in such a relatively short amount of time is a testament to both UPS’ success in the marketplace and their confidence in our aircraft.”

UPS is the third U.S.-based customer for the A380. Including the UPS deal, there are 149 orders and commitments for A380s from 14 customers. The UPS A380F will carry a freight load of 330,000 pounds on three decks, with a cargo volume capacity of 40,000 cubic feet, a distance of some 5,600 nautical miles.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.