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March 18, 2003

Alcoa & SIE Form New Company to Develop and Market Passenger-to-Freighter Conversions of Large Transport Aircraft

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 18, 2003--Alcoa Inc., and Structural Integrity Engineering, SIE, announced today that they have formed Alcoa-SIE Cargo Conversions, LLC, to develop and market passenger-to-freighter conversions beginning with the Boeing 757-200.

Bill Christopher, Alcoa's Executive Vice-President, and Group President Aerospace, Automotive and Commercial Transportation, said, "This new business will provide us an opportunity to integrate Alcoa's advanced aerospace alloys, unique product dimensional capabilities and new monolithic structural designs with SIE's conversion engineering capabilities in structure and component design, analysis and certification. This company provides the platform to combine a cost efficient conversion with attractive operating costs for the freighter segment, and design and certification for cost and weight efficient advanced metallic components for broader use in the aircraft industry."

Dr. Matt Creager, President of SIE added, "I am extremely pleased that our two companies were able to join forces with the goal of developing state-of-the-art cargo conversions. With the venture now formalized we are focusing our efforts on finalizing vendor selections and filling initial production slots."

The 757-200 was selected for conversion due to a unique combination of payload, performance, range, and attractive operating economics, including two engines and a 2-man crew. Alcoa-SIE 757-200F conversions will feature 15 pallet positions, payload up to 70,000 pounds, an industry-standard cargo loading system, solid 9G barriers and a new crew entry door.

Alcoa-SIE Cargo Conversions is also pursuing the development of additional P to F conversions as global markets develop. Alcoa-SIE Cargo Conversions is currently in discussions with operators worldwide to evaluate which aircraft best fulfill their mission requirements. These discussions will identify the next conversion project for the new company.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 127,000 employees in 39 countries. For more information go to

Structural Integrity Engineering, (SIE), based in Chatsworth CA with offices in Everett WA, was formed in 1981 to provide engineering, project development and technical consulting services to the aviation industry. SIE specializes in projects related to aircraft and aircraft component design, analysis and certification and has received 23 Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs). Additionally, SIE is active in research and development programs involving structural analysis and structural reliability with an emphasis on aging aircraft issues and associated damage tolerance issues.

In 1989, SIE began to make the cargo industry a focal area by undertaking the first of many weight increase STC's for the DC-8 and 727 families of freighters. Additionally, SIE was awarded three-floor modification STC's for the 727 series of aircraft. These are the most widely utilized STCs addressing the 727 freighter floor issues raised in recent FAA airworthiness directives.

Forward Looking Statement

Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements related to this business to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements and other risk factors are summarized in Alcoa's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002.