AMERICAN AIRLINES IS to sell the bulk of its McDonnell Douglas MD-11 fleet to FedEx for conversion into freighters.

Confirming details of the long-rumoured sale, American says that 12 MD-11s will be delivered to FedEx between January 1996 and October 1999. FedEx also has the option to buy the airline's seven remaining aircraft which, if exercised, would be delivered between 2000 and 2002.

American's senior vice-president for finance and planning, Gerard Arpey, says that the aircraft "...isn't the right size for most of the missions American is flying".

The carrier says that disposal of the 19-strong MD-11 fleet, the smallest it operates, will help cut costs and improve operating efficiency.

FedEx has received 13 MD-11 freighters to date and has a further two still on order from MDC. The carrier also operates 35 DC-10s, of which 22 are the longer range -30 version.

Source: Flight International