November 29, 2017

FedEx unit buys 50 Cessna feeder aircraft

Planes to be used on short, mid-haul routes, leased to third-party carriers.

By DC Velocity Staff

FedEx Express, the air and international unit of FedEx Corp., said today it will buy 50 Cessna SkyCourier turbo-propelled feeder aircraft from a unit of Textron Aviation Inc., and acquired options to purchase up to 50 more. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Memphis-based FedEx Express said the planes would be deployed on the company's domestic short and medium-haul air routes where line-haul services with larger jet aircraft are not cost-effective, as well as in international markets where the company doesn't have operating authority. Most of FedEx's 300 feeder aircraft are owned by FedEx but leased and operated by different air carriers under their respective operating certificates.

The first plane will be delivered in mid-2020, with deliveries of one per month scheduled over a four-year period, FedEx Express said.

The new aircraft will have twin engines, unlike the current Cessnas in FedEx Express' fleet, which are single-engine planes. The new planes will also have larger cargo doors capable of handling both pallets and up to three LD-3 containers, FedEx Express said. The planes have maximum capacity of 6,000 pounds.

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