FedEx Express has signed a contract for the firm purchase of 30 ATR 72-600Fs plus 20 options. The turboprops will be the first new ATRs to be delivered from the factory in freighter configuration, with the new variant equipped with a forward large cargo door (LCD) and a rear upper hinged cargo door. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020.
The ATR 72-600F features a class E main cabin for cargo operations and will be capable of supporting both bulk cargo and unit load device (ULD) configurations. The Toulouse-based manufacturer says the aircraft has a bulk capacity of 74.6m3, and when in ULD mode, can accommodate up to seven LD3 containers, or five 88” x 108”, or nine 88” x 62” pallets. It is also equipped with new reinforced floor panels.
Commenting on the signing of the contract, David L Cunningham, President and CEO of FedEx Express, said: “ATR aircraft have been successfully operating in FedEx service for many years. We worked with ATR to develop this new aircraft, which includes special features to help us grow our business, especially in the air freight market where shipments are larger and heavier. The 72-600F will play an important role in our global network by helping us deliver fast, economical service to small and medium sized markets.”
ATR’s CEO Christian Scherer added: “We congratulate FedEx Express for their long-standing success and for their long term commercial views for the new ATR 72-600F. Their selection of this new aircraft is the result of a deep technical and economic analysis. ATRs in cargo configuration deliver an outstanding service, both serving small communities and feeding larger freighters. The ATR 72-600F is the only new large regional aircraft available on the market for freighter operations. We are convinced that, with its use by FedEx Express, it will become the new benchmark for regional air cargo operations.”