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Camille Pitre (206)298-3185
Seattle -- March 10, 1999
In a move that will significantly expand and enhance customer services for Airborne's European operations, Airborne Express has assumed operations of its former joint venture partner in The Netherlands and opened entirely new wholly-owned operations in Birmingham, England. These new facilities allow Airborne to maximize its flexibility, particularly in the upgrading of Airborne’s international services going to, from and within the Common Market countries and rest of the world.

"A strong European economy and Airborne's increasing business activity in The Netherlands triggered our decision to acquire 100% our JV partners' businesses, invest in larger facilities and significantly expand our market presence," said John Birds, vice president and general manager, Airborne Express.

The new Netherlands facility is one of the most significant Airborne operations and logistics hubs in Europe. Airborne is located adjacent to the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport which is one of the busiest airports in Europe. This new operation will handle Airborne’s International Express Air Freight, Ocean Freight and Logistics services. Major customers include DuPont and GE Silicones, Bausch and Lomb and Smith Kline Beecham.

The new Birmingham office is located at the Birmingham International Airport and in close proximity to England's extensive motorway network. The office was established to handle import and export freight for the East and West Midlands area, which is the industrial heartland of England. Major Airborne customers in the region include Rolls Royce and Parker Hannifin.

Airborne has successfully used the strategy of cultivating new markets using local joint venture partners and assuming full ownership when business volumes increase, according to Birds. Over the next few years Airborne plans continued expansion in the major European markets as opportunities warrant.

"We expect this expansion of our facilities and our overall European business to be very productive," said Birds. "Owning these stations enables Airborne to provide better service to our customers and control our costs. We are continuing to emphasize the flexible, customer intimate approach to logistic solutions that has served us so well in the business-to-business delivery arena."

For more than 50 years, Airborne Express has served the shipping needs of business customers around the world. Today, Airborne offers total distribution solutions by providing time-sensitive delivery of documents, letters, small packages, and freight to virtually every U.S. ZIP code and more than 200 countries. Customers can select from a variety of services including domestic next-morning and next-afternoon, international air express, freight, brokerage, ocean, and logistics management.

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