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Roy Liljebeck (206)281-1003
SEATTLE -- January 20, 2000
Airborne Freight Corporation (NYSE: ABF), which operates under the trade name Airborne Express, today reported that the company’s net earnings for the fourth quarter ended

December 31, 1999 will fall short of expectations. The company estimates results will be in the range of

$.30 to $.35, which will include a gain equal to $.06 from the sale of securities. The consensus estimate of analysts who follow the company was for earnings per share of $.48. The final results for the company will be issued January 31, 2000.

"The high cost of jet fuel and the lack of growth in domestic shipments are the primary reasons for the shortfall," said Airborne’s Chief Financial Officer Roy Liljebeck. "Jet fuel has increased $.19 per gallon over what we paid in the same quarter last year, and has increased $.11 over what was paid in the third quarter of 1999. The result is a reduction of earnings per share of $.11 versus the fourth quarter of 1998 and $.06 versus the third quarter of 1999. In addition, the lack of growth in domestic shipments precludes any productivity gains which normally help offset cost increases," concluded Liljebeck.

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 customers 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 same-day, next-morning, next-afternoon or second-day delivery, air freight, ocean service, and international warehousing.

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