Following a commitment announced in January 2005, Atlanta, Georgia-based UPS has formally signed the contract for 10 Airbus A380 freighter aircraft.

Deliveries to UPS are scheduled between 2009 and 2012. The company has not yet made its engine selection.

"The A380ís strength as a freighter in the global market is reinforced by this order from UPS," said Gustav Humbert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus. "We will be proud to have the A380 play such a major role in international shipping, and therefore global commerce, as it joins the UPS fleet."

UPS took delivery of its first Airbus aircraft in 2000. The airline currently flies a fleet of 47 A300 Freighters.

UPS is the third U.S.-based customer for the A380. Including the UPS deal, there are 159 firm orders for A380s from 16 customers - including 27 freighter orders. The first A380 freighter is slated for delivery in 2008. 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.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.