FedEx takes delivery of turboprop freighter

As part of long term carbon reduction plans, FedEx Express has announced it has taken delivery of a purpose built ATR turboprop regional air freighter.

The first of 30 ordered in 2017 and with an option to add 20 more to its global air freighter fleet, the aircraft is to work out of Shannon Airport in Ireland. It is to serve small and medium businesses and e-commerce demands. It is to be operated by FedEx through ASL Airlines in Ireland.

Around a third of the global regional freighter fleet (130 aircraft) are ATR turboprops, mostly converted from passenger use. The brand new ATR 72-600F is a deliberate step into the air freight market with the company’s success in its converted aircraft.

Jorn Van De Plas, Senior Vice President Air Network and GTS Europe, FedEx Express said: “Today’s delivery of the first ever purpose-built regional ATR freighter marks an exciting new chapter for our FedEx Express Feeder fleet. This is an important step in our fleet renewal strategy, ensuring we remain the most flexible, reliable, and responsible network in the business.

“During what has been a difficult year both for businesses around the world and for communities, we are proud to remain at the heart of efforts to keep trade flowing and deliver goods across Europe. This new ATR Feeder delivery lines up with our overall ‘Reduce, Replace, Revolutionise’ sustainability approach, replacing older, less efficient aircraft in a more sustainable way.”

Stefano Bortoli, Chief Executive Office of ATR, said: “Every manufacturer is proud when it develops and delivers a brand new aircraft, and given the uniquely challenging year the industry and the whole world has faced, handing over to FedEx Express this very first ATR 72-600F is an exciting and rewarding moment for our whole team here in ATR. Freighters play a huge role in supplying essential connectivity between economies all over the world and the unique aspects of our modern purpose-built freighter mean it will deliver operational benefits to companies that integrate them into their fleet.

“FedEx is no stranger to ATR, with over 40 of our turboprops in their existing fleet. We are proud to continue this collaboration with this world leader and that they have chosen the ATR 72-600F as part of their fleet renewal programme. This sets FedEx at the forefront of responsible aviation with the most fuel-efficient aircraft currently on the market”, Bortoli concludes.