FedEx Express took delivery of the first ATR 72-600F. The aircraft will be operated by ASL Airlines Ireland, a FedEx ATR operator since 2000, as part of the FedEx Express Feeder fleet.
While there are around 130 ATR aircraft converted into freighters in operation, representing one-third of the global regional freighter fleet according to the manufacturer, the 72-600F is the first to be directly delivered in a freighter configuration.
The ATR 72-600F regional freighter has a range of 900 nautical miles (1.666 kilometers). Its 75m3 cargo hold can embark up to 9 tons of freight. Having completed its maiden flights in September 2020, the freighter received EASA certification on December 3, 2020.
“During what has been a difficult year both for businesses around the world and for communities, we are proud to remain at the heart of efforts to keep trade flowing and deliver goods across Europe,” Jorn Van De Plas, Senior Vice President Air Network and GTS Europe, FedEx Express commented. “This new ATR Feeder delivery lines up with our overall ‘Reduce, Replace, Revolutionise’ sustainability approach, replacing older, less efficient aircraft in a more sustainable way.”
In November 2017, FedEx Express made a firm purchase of 30 ATR 72-600F aircraft with options to purchase up to 20 more. Deliveries will be about six aircraft per year, over a five-year period. FedEx already operates 44 ATR turboprops, according to PlaneSpotters fleet data.