Five cargo airlines will compete for daily work under a contract worth up to $870 million awarded by the US Department of Defense on 23 March.
The five airlines are Air Transport International, of Little Rock, Arkansas; Evergreen International Airlines, of McMinnville, Oregon; Federal Express Corp., of Memphis; National Air Cargo Group, of Ypsilanti, Michigan and United Parcel Service, of Louisville.
The two-year programme, which begins 1 April, includes a one year option.
The airlines will compete for task orders to deliver cargo in the US Central Command area, which includes the Middle East and parts of South Asia and Africa.
The contract requires the airlines to provide "door-to-door transportation service" for a variety of cargo types, including full pallets, partly empty pallets and outsized and oversized cargo shipments.