World Airways revises fleet plan

World Airways revises fleet plan

World Airways today announced that its board of directors has approved a revised fleet plan as part of its five-year strategic plan.

World Airways operated a fleet of 18 wide-body aircraft at the end of 2003 comprised of 11 MD-11 and seven DC-10-30 aircraft.

The first phase of the revised fleet plan calls for the introduction of two Boeing 767-300ER passenger aircraft, which were originally approved by the board in August 2003, by the fourth quarter of 2004, and will replace two DC-10-30 passenger aircraft that come off lease later this year. Coupled with the return of two of its most expensive DC-10-30 cargo aircraft this month, the total fleet size at the end of 2004 is projected to be 16 aircraft.

The current plan for 2005 is to increase the fleet to 17 aircraft with the net growth being realized through the addition of a third and fourth 767- 300ER, the scheduled return of two MD-11 and one DC-10-30 passenger aircraft and the addition of two freighter aircraft. The company said it plans to evaluate the feasibility of adding a 747-400SF freighter to its operating certificate in order to meet its freighter requirements.

As operating leases for three of World's MD-11 freighter aircraft expire in 2006, it anticipates that it will be able to either renegotiate significantly lower lease rates on these aircraft, or secure replacement units at lower lease rates. The plan anticipates measured fleet growth through the period 2006-08 with additional aircraft of the same type, as market demand dictates and economically feasible lease rates allow.

In a prepared statement, Chairman and Chief Executive Hollis Harris said that 747-400 would enable World to effectively compete for more commercial clients to augment its strong military business.