The world’s largest air cargo company, FedEx received the world’s first ATR 72-600F turboprop on Tuesday at a ceremony held at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Toulouse.
The model is the first dedicated turboprop freighter ever developed by ATR. The aircraft is already used in this task, but adapted from originally passenger units. Therefore, the ATR 72-600F is capable of carrying more cargo (9 tons) and with a total range of 1,666 km.
The aircraft has a large cargo door to facilitate the optimal loading of payload and offers the option of carrying either bulk cargo or, when in Unit Load Device (ULD) mode, five 88”x 108” pallets or up to seven LD3 containers.
FedEx is the aircraft’s launch customer, thanks to an order announced in November 2017 for 30 units plus a purchase option for another 20 planes. According to the manufacturer, the American company will receive six aircraft a year for a period of five years.
“Today’s delivery of the first ever purpose-built regional ATR freighter marks an exciting new chapter for our FedEx Express Feeder fleet. This is an important step in our fleet renewal strategy, ensuring we remain the most flexible, reliable, and responsible network in the business,” said Jorn Van De Plas, Senior Vice President Air Network and GTS Europe, FedEx Express.
“FedEx is no stranger to ATR, with over 40 of our turboprops in their existing fleet. We are proud to continue this collaboration with this world leader and that they have chosen the ATR 72-600F as part of their fleet renewal program. This sets FedEx at the forefront of responsible aviation with the most fuel-efficient aircraft currently on the market,” said Stefano Bortoli, Chief Executive Office of ATR.
According to ATR, FedEx Express will donate two old ATRs to Madrid airport where they will be used for fire services training. These will be the 97th and 98th FedEx planes have donated at the end of their service in the fleet.