President of UPS Airlines, Robert Lekites, is retiring from the airline after 36 years. Mitch Nichols, vice president of UPS Air Group operations, will replace him as president. On Lekites’ watch, UPS Airlines launched its first cargo flights to China, acquired aLatin American airline, expanded Worldport, the company’s air hub in Louisville, Kentucky, and a completed an $135 million expansion of its European air hub in Cologne, Germany. UPS has 500 aircraft and operates 1,700 flights around the world daily. Lekites started with UPS as a delivery driver in 1974 and became head of the airline in 1997.

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