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Camille Pitre (206) 830-3185
SEATTLE -- March 2, 2000
Airborne Express (ABF on the NYSE) has won the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Award for 1999, becoming one of only four companies in America to earn the prestigious award for two consecutive years.

The winners, in a variety of industries, are selected on the basis of a scientifically-based study conducted by international consulting firm Brand Keys, Inc. Airborne generated the greatest customer loyalty of any major express shipper, meeting or exceeding customer expectations throughout 1999.

"Airborne Express is delighted to receive the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty award again," said Kent Freudenberger, Airborne executive vice president, sales and marketing. "It’s especially gratifying to be a repeat winner, since it helps to confirm our belief that by listening to what our customers really want, we’ve created a service that they trust enough to stick with over time."

To determine the winners, Brand Keys interviewed 12,000 brand users in 19 major product and service categories to measure the emotional bond between users and their brands. Brands were rated against the customer ideal in each category. According to Brand Keys president, Dr. Robert Passikoff, customer loyalty serves as the best indicator of future brand success. "In a sense, loyalty is a measure of the brand’s likabilty. It is very closely correlated with repeat purchase behavior, and is the leading driver of brand sales, profits and growth."

Other 1999 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Award winners include: America Online (Internet companies); AT&T (telecommunications); Canon (office copiers); Fidelity (mutual funds); Major League Baseball (professional sports leagues); Mobil (gasoline); New Balance (athletic footwear); Pepsi (regular soft drinks); Prudential (insurance); and Wendy’s (fast food).

For more than 50 years, Airborne Express has served 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 same-day, next-morning, next-afternoon or second-day delivery, ocean service, and logistics management.

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