UPS Airlines’ President Bob Lekites
Retiring After 36 Years Of Service
January 10, 2010 - UPS announced that Robert L. "Bob"
Lekites, president of UPS Airlines, is retiring after 36
years of service at the global logistics company. Mitch
Nichols, vice president of UPS Air Group operations, has
been named to replace Lekites.
president of UPS Airlines, Lekites had responsibility
for all aspects of the company's airline operations as
well as Worldport, UPS's cutting-edge package processing
facility and all-points international air hub in
Lekites was given responsibility for UPS's airline and
international operations. Under Lekites' direction, UPS's global
air network expanded considerably with the introduction of
several new aircraft types, numerous new flights and the opening
or expansion of multiple gateways and air hubs around the world.
Other significant milestones during Lekites' oversight of UPS's
1997, UPS became the first air carrier in North America with 100
percent of its jet fleet meeting the
launched its inaugural flight to
acquired Menlo Worldwide Forwarding, expanding UPS's
capabilities by adding guaranteed heavy air freight services.
UPS completed a $135 million expansion of its European air hub
was instrumental as UPS Airlines made the transition from being
primarily a domestic carrier to a global logistics leader with the most
comprehensive integrated transportation network on the planet," said
David Abney, UPS Chief Operating Officer. "Over the course of his
distinguished career, Bob made innumerable contributions that helped UPS
expand its reach to nearly every corner of the world."
Mitch Nichols, a
In 2007, Nichols
was promoted to vice president of UPS Air Group operations where he was
responsible for the day-to-day operations of UPS's airline including
safety, security, aircraft maintenance, flight operations, labor
relations, and other core functions. During this time Nichols had
responsibility and oversight for several significant projects,
instituted continuous performance measures that were recognized in 2009
when UPS Airlines was named "Cargo Airline of the Year" by Air Transport
World. UPS opened its new Asia-Pacific air hub in
In April 2010, UPS announced the opening of its new $180 million intra-Asia air hub in Shenzhen, China, significantly improving time-in-transit for regional package and freight shipments, as well as the successful completion of a second $1 billion expansion of Worldport, further increasing the facility's sorting capacity by 37 percent to 416,000 packages per hour. UPS Airlines established an aggressive goal of reducing its CO2 emissions by 42 percent by the year 2020. Currently the company is nearly halfway toward meeting its commitment.
Nichols has chaired many industry committees including the Air Transport
Association's Engineering, Maintenance and Material Council and the
ATA's Joint Management Team, which is composed of senior industry
leaders who meet to review rulemaking and policy issues. Nichols also
chaired the editorial advisory board for Aviation Week & Space
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