FedEx receives first 767-300F

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FedEx Express today took delivery of its first Boeing 767-300 freighter.

The aircraft is the first of 50 767-300 freighters the Memphis-based cargo operator will add to its fleet to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing MD-10 aircraft, a July regulatory filing shows. FedEx plans to receive four 767-300F aircraft in its 2014 fiscal year, which began on 1 June, followed by subsequent deliveries beyond fiscal 2018. It also has 35 additional options for the aircraft type, the carrier tells Flightglobal.

"Today's delivery of our first Boeing 767 freighter is another step forward in our fleet modernisation strategy," says James Parker, executive vice president of air operations, FedEx Express. "The 767 is approximately 30% more fuel efficient and has unit operating costs that are more than 20% lower than the aircraft they will replace. The net effect is an aircraft that is more affordable to operate and has lower carbon emissions because of better fuel efficiency."

Fleet modernisation is a key part of FedEx Express' goal to improve annual profits by $1.6 billion by the end of 2016 compared to the end of 2013. Along with ordering the 767-300F, the carrier has orders for additional 20 777Fs beyond the 23 already in its fleet, financial filings show.

The carrier is also planning to receive 27 Boeing 757 aircraft from United Airlines to be converted into freighters. In March, it formed a deal with the carrier to purchase 14 of the aircraft type and revealed in a July regulatory filing that it would take 13 of 16 options for the aircraft. These aircraft will be delivered through FedEx's 2015 fiscal year ending 31 May 2015.

In the past year, the carrier has also announced that it would accelerate retirements of several aircraft types and related engines, including the Airbus A310-200 and -300s as well as the Boeing MD-10.