FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), one of the largest shipping services company in the world, today took delivery of the first ever regional turboprop cargo aircraft. The delivery is the first in an order for 30 aircraft, plus 20 options, signed by FedEx in November 2017. The aircraft will arrive at Shannon Airport and will be operated by ASL Airlines Ireland, a FedEx ATR operator since 2000 and part of the FedEx Express Feeder fleet. A global fleet that allows the company to provide fast and efficient services around the world capable of responding to the needs of geographic areas characterized by small and medium-sized business activities.
The ATR turboprop aircraft, the most fuel efficient regional aircraft, is gaining great interest among cargo and passenger transport operators committed to a more sustainable aviation industry for the future. ATR has extensive experience in the regional cargo market. There are currently approximately 130 ATR converted to cargo aircraft in operation, representing one third of the global regional cargo fleet. The development of this brand new ATR 72-600F benefits from this experience to provide FedEx with a cargo aircraft that is fully in line with the requirements of the category. With an evolving market and the e-commerce sector in great growth, the ATR is the ideal solution for connecting even the most remote areas around the world.
FedEx Express operations will now benefit from the unique benefits of the ATR 72-600F's 75m3 load capacity. The fuselage for the new cargo version was specially designed and built by Leonardo (Italian shareholder of ATR) at its production site in Pomigliano D'Arco (Naples). The aircraft's large cargo door allows for optimal onboard access of nine tons of payload and offers the ability to transport bulk material or, in ULD (Unit Load Device) mode, five 88 "x 108" pallets or up to seven LD3 containers. Pilots also benefit from the latest Standard 3 avionics suite of the ATR 72-600, which allows the introduction of continuous innovations designed to improve its efficiency.
Jorn Van De Plas, FedEx Express Senior Vice President Air Network and GTS Europe said, “Today's delivery of ATR's first purpose-built regional cargo ATR opens an exciting new chapter for the FedEx Express Feeder fleet. important moment in our fleet renewal strategy with the aim of confirming FedEx Express as the most flexible, reliable and responsible network in the industry.
“During what has been a difficult year for both businesses and communities around the world, we can be proud of our commitment to ensure the continued flow of trade and delivery of goods across Europe. This new ATR-based Feeder service fits in well with our 'Reduce, Replace, Revolution' global sustainability approach, which involves replacing older, more efficient aircraft with more sustainable aircraft. "
Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR, said: "Every manufacturer is proud when developing and delivering a new aircraft, and considering the extraordinarily difficult year that the industry and the whole world has faced, the delivery of this very first to FedEx Express. ATR 72-600F is an exciting and rewarding time for our entire team. Cargo aircraft play an essential role in the interconnectedness of economies around the world, and the unique features of our modern and purpose-built aircraft will translate into broad operational benefits for companies that will integrate it into their fleets ".
“FedEx's partnership with ATR is well established, with over 40 turboprops operating in their fleet. We are proud to continue this partnership with a world leader who has chosen the ATR 72-600F as part of their fleet renewal plan. This highlights FedEx's commitment to “sustainable” aviation by choosing the most efficient aircraft currently on the market in terms of fuel consumption, ”concludes Bortoli.
As part of FedEx Express's commitment to reuse resources, the two aircraft replaced by the new ATRs will be donated to Madrid Airport, where they will be used for firefighter training. They represent the 97th and 98th aircraft that FedEx donates at the end of its operational life.
This delivery is an encouraging time for the logistics and air freight industry, and how they continue to support global economic development.