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French-Italian turboprop feeder freighter delivered to FedEx

FEDEX has taken delivery of the first turboprop feeder of the 30 ordered from ATR, a French-Italian aircraft manufacturer based at Toulouse Blagnac International Airport

21 December 2020 - 19:00
FEDEX has taken delivery of the first turboprop feeder of the 30 ordered from ATR, a French-Italian aircraft manufacturer based at Toulouse Blagnac International Airport.

The ATR72-600 production freighter has been delivered to express carrier FedEx as part of its fleet renewable programme, reported London's Air Cargo News.



The feeder aircraft, which took three years to develop and launch, offers around nine tonnes of capacity or 75 cubic metres of space and is ATR's first purpose built regional freighter.



The aircraft is part of a 2017 deal to a firm order for 30 of the turboprop freighters, with a further six or seven to be delivered next year and the remainder over the next five years. FedEx also has options on a further 20 ATR-600Fs.



Speaking at a press conference, Scott Struminger, FedEx Express executive vice president and chief executive, aviation, said that one of the main benefits of the aircraft is its large cargo door, which allows freight to be loaded on pallets, ULDs or as loose cargo.



The aircraft can carry up to five 88' x 108' pallets or up to seven LD3 containers.



He said the all the 72-600F aircraft it has ordered would be operated on a CMI basis. The first aircraft will undergo some modifications by FedEx before it arrives at Shannon Airport where it will be operated by ASL Airlines Ireland, a FedEx ATR operator since 2000, between Paris CDG and the Czech Republic.



The second aircraft will operate in the US and the next three will service the Latin America region.



ATR chief executive Stefano Bortoli said there had been an surge in interest in the aircraft over the last few months in line with demand for extra freighter capacity. Although he would not reveal any names, he expected at least one additional customer to be in place by the end of 2021.



'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,' said Mr Bartoli.



Said FedEx Express vice president Jorn Van De Plas: 'This is an important step in our fleet renewal strategy, ensuring we remain the most flexible, reliable, and responsible network in the business.


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