Boeing Commercial Airplanes took a $6.6-billion order from FedEx Express for 24 new cargo jets, 12 767 Freighters and 12 777 Freighters. The OEM noted the new order is indicative of expansion in the air-cargo sector, citing a forecast for 4-5% growth in global air-freight volume in 2018, following nearly 10% expansion in 2017.
With this order, Boeing reported it has sold over 50 wide-body freighters to date in 2018.
FedEx Express is the world's largest air-cargo carrier, and the largest operator of 767 Freighters and 777 Freighters. "We are taking another positive step in our fleet modernization program as we add more efficient, lower emission aircraft to our global fleet," stated David L. Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express.
The FedEx order, however, contrasts with another trend in the air-cargo sector: carriers are having passenger jets converted to freighters in order to add needed capacity to keep up with demand.
The 767 Freighter is a design based on the 767-300ER (extended range) passenger jet. It can carry approximately 58 tons of revenue cargo, with intercontinental range, making it flexible for serving long-haul, regional or feeder routes.
The 777 Freighter is a long-range (4,900 nautical miles / 9,070 km), twin-engine freighter, with a payload of 112 tons. Boeing noted the 777 Freighter allows FedEx to make a link from its Memphis hub to Asian destinations, non-stop, cutting transit times by up to three hours and allowing it to extend its receiving hours and still deliver packages on-time.
Cunningham stated that its Boeing 767 and 777 Freighters have improved the efficiency and reliability of FedEx Express operations.