International logistics firm FedEx Express has unveiled its latest Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft, part of an order that could see the Memphis-based carrier operate as many as 55 of the type.
The aircraft, registration N854FD, was delivered to FedEx last month and made its first operational flight between London Stansted and Memphis on 28 February.
FedEx operates 12 777Fs, with another 18 on order from Boeing and 10 from airlines or lessors. In addition it has 15 options.
It is introducing the new aircraft to boost capacity on key routes, allow it to introduce new routes and to enable it to redeploy its fleet of Boeing MD-11 freighters.
David Binks, senior vice-president operations, FedEx Express Europe, says that it has yet to decide on which routes the new 777s will operate, but they will be the "longer, higher demand routes".
He points to the recently introduced Paris-Hong Kong service, which FedEx had not operated prior to the arrival of two 777s at its Charles De Gaulle hub last year.
Its most recent quarterly accounts, filed on December 17 2010, show financial commitments of $1.4bn towards aircraft purchases. In addition to the 777s, FedEx is also replacing its fleet of ageing Boeing 727Fs with younger and larger 757F aircraft. The company has 55 on its fleet and it plans to take nine of the type this year, with another nine in 2012.
Binks says that this switch will help the company to meet its commitment to cutting CO2 emissions from aircraft by 20% by 2020.