FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), announced today it has completed a purchase agreement with ATR that will begin to modernize the company’s fleet of feeder aircraft.
Under the agreement, FedEx Express is making a firm purchase of 30 ATR 72-600F aircraft with options to purchase up to 20 additional ATR 72-600Fs. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected in 2020, with subsequent deliveries of about six aircraft per year over a five year period.
“The purchase of new, more advanced feeder aircraft like the ATR 72-600F is the next step in our very successful fleet modernization strategy, which has helped us greatly improve our fuel efficiency and fleet reliability in recent years,” said David L. Cunningham, president and CEO, FedEx Express. “We worked closely with ATR, which developed this new aircraft with special features to help us grow our business, especially in the air freight market where shipments are larger and heavier.”
ATR 72-600Fs will have:
- a forward Large Cargo Door (LCD) and a rear upper-hinged cargo door
- digital cockpits
- advanced avionics technology and enhanced take-off performance
- ADS-B “out” capabilities
The ATR 72-600F is equipped with reinforced floor panels and will support both bulk cargo and Unit Load Device (ULD) configurations. The aircraft has a bulk capacity of 2,630 cubic feet (74.6 cubic meters). When in ULD mode, it can accommodate up to seven LD3 containers, or five 88” x 108” pallets, or nine 88” x 62” pallets.
Current FedEx feeder aircraft do not carry containers or palletized freight, so these new features will help the company better serve customers in the air freight market where palletized shipments are the norm.
FedEx currently deploys more than 300 feeder aircraft in 45 countries. Most of these feeder aircraft are owned by FedEx, and are leased and operated by different third-party air carriers under their own operating certificates. The FedEx feeder fleet is comprised of aircraft under 60,000 pounds maximum gross take-off weight, and allows the company to provide fast, economical service to small and medium-sized markets around the world.
The FedEx feeder fleet complements the company’s jet fleet of over 360 aircraft, including Boeing 777s, B767s and B757s, MD11s, MD10s, Airbus 300s and Airbus 310s.