Press Release

TNT Express to Introduce Two New Tupolevs to Air Fleet

Publish Date : 11 March 2002 at 09:51 CET - TNT Express, the leading global business-to-business carrier, has announced plans to introduce two new Tupolev Tu-204-120C aircraft onto its European express delivery air network.

Sirocco Aerospace is to provide these new Rolls-Royce RB211 powered aircraft, which will be operated by Heavylift Cargo Airlines from the main TNT Express European Air Hub in Liége.

The first of the new aircraft has entered into service today with the second expected in May 2002, replacing two Boeing 727-200Fs that have been chartered by the company since 1994 but do not meet upcoming noise regulations.

Tom Storey, TNT Express Director of Aviation Fleet Development said, "We are delighted to announce this agreement with Sirocco and Heavylift. TNT Express has been operating a Russian-powered Tupolev Tu-204-100C under charter for eighteen months and we have been impressed with its performance and reliability. These significantly quieter 120C aircraft will play a key role in covering noise sensitive areas of Western Europe."

"Having TNT Express operate the Tu204-120C on its high-reliability network is the best possible endorsement for our all new package freighter," said Sirocco CEO Tom Smith. "We have upgraded the specification of these new aircraft to satisfy the demanding Western European market, by fitting Rolls-Royce engines, Honeywell navigation avionics, the Ancra in-plane cargo system and numerous western components and systems. Our innovative approach assures the highest dispatch reliability and lowest operating cost for TNT Express."

Graham Pearce, Commercial Director of Heavylift Cargo Airlines said, "Heavylift has many years experience in managing Russian aircraft operating in the West and was asked by Sirocco to help them with the introduction of the Tupolev 204. We have also been providing Airbus A300 capacity to TNT Express for some time and this new project combines Heavylift's skills in both of these areas. The Tupolev 204 has great potential in this market and Heavylift is pleased to have been involved from the beginning."

Page publication date: 11 March 2002 at 09:51 CET