FedEx Express to overhaul its feeder fleet with 50 Cessna SkyCourier 408 aircraft
November 29, 2017: As a part of its feeder fleet modernisation initiatives, FedEx Express has planned to induct over 50 next-generation twin-engine Cessna SkyCourier 408 aircrafts in its operation by in mid 2020.
FedEx Express—a subsidiary of FedEx Corp has inked a purchase agreement with Textron Aviation Inc to augment its fleet of feeder aircrafts with 50 Cessna SkyCourier 408 aircrafts.
According to the agreement, the delivery of the first Cessna SkyCourier 408 aircraft is expected in mid-2020, and the rest is anticipated to be delivered as per the schedule of one aircraft every per month, spread over a period of four years.
FedEx Express, which operates the fourth largest fleet in the globe was eying for a major fleet modernisation since long. David Cunningham, President and CEO of FedEx Express said: “We were eying for a major fleet modernisation by way of inducting modern and operationally efficient aircrafts into our feeder fleet to enhance fuel efficiency, reliability and operating costs.”
“We collaborated with Textron Aviation to build on the Cessna SkyCourier 408 aircraft, which includes a plethora of key features, which would help us propel our business in small and medium-sized air freight segments.”
Cessna SkyCourier 408 is outfitted with several advanced features, including twin-engine, high-wing turboprop, digital cockpit, large cargo door and a flat floor cabin capable of handling about LD3 containers with maximum payload of 6,000 lb.
The Cessna aircraft is reported to be assembled by Textron Aviation in Wichita, Kansas. It will have twice the volumetric capacity compared to the single engine Cessna Caravan 208 that is currently being used by FedEx Express. The aircraft will have a large cargo door to support container and pallet operations and offer faster service options to air freight customers.
Earlier, FedEx had announced to buy 20 ATR 72-600F aircrafts as part of its first modernising steps.
“The aircraft purchase is part of our long-term feeder fleet augmenting strategy,” informed Greg Hall, Executive Vice President of Air Operations, FedEx Express.
“The strategy will help us perk up our fuel efficiency and fleet reliability with the help of our collaborative training program. It will also create a stable pipeline of qualified pilots for FedEx Express who will leverage the experience they would gain in our feeder system in the future,” said Hall.