FedEx Express is to buy 30 ATR 72-600F aircraft with options to purchase up to 20 more as part of a plan to modernise its fleet of feeder aircraft.
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 modernisation 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.”
The aircraft is equipped with reinforced floor panels and will support both bulk cargo and Unit Load Device configurations. The aircraft has a bulk capacity of 74.6 cu m. In ULD mode, it can accommodate up to seven LD3 containers, or five 88” x 108” pallets, or nine 88” x 62” pallets.
The aircraft will have a forward large cargo door and a rear upper-hinged cargo door; digital cockpits and advanced avionics technology.
FedEx currently deploys more than 300 feeder aircraft in 45 countries. Current FedEx feeder aircraft do not carry containers or palletised freight, so these new features will help the company better serve customers in the air freight market where palletised shipments are the norm.