FedEx Express has signed a major contract with ATR for the firm purchase of 30 ATR 72-600s plus 20 options, with deliveries to begin in 2020. These aircraft will be the first new ATRs to be directly delivered from the factory in a freighter configuration.
This new aircraft version, designated as the ATR 72-600F, has a brand new windowless fuselage and is equipped with a forward Large Cargo Door (LCD) and a rear upper hinged cargo door.
These new ATRs are also the first ATR 72-600s that will operate in a cargo configuration, as well as being the first ones equipped with an LCD directly from the factory.
The ATR 72-600F features a class E main cabin for cargo operations, and will support both bulk cargo and Unit Load Device (ULD) configurations. The ATR 72-600F has a bulk capacity of 74.6 m3, and when in ULD mode, can accommodate up to seven LD3 containers, or five 88” x 108”, or nine 88” x 62” pallets. The aircraft 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 include 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 chief executive officer Christian Scherer declared: “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”.