ATR’s CEO Stefano Bortoli has hailed a “defining moment” for the company as FedEx Express took delivery of its first purposebuilt turboprop regional freighter. The ATR 72-600F was manufactured in Toulouse, France and is the first of 30 to be delivered to FedEx as part of an order made in 2017, with an option to purchase 20 more. The aircraft will arrive at Shannon Airport and will be operated by ASL Airlines Ireland, a FedEx ATR operator since 2000, as part of the FedEx Express Feeder fleet. This fleet aims to provide fast, economical services to small and medium-sized business areas around the world.
At a press briefing, Bortoli said that while 2020 had been an unusual year and had hit aviation hard, the timing of the delivery was “perfect” as increased cargo capacity was high in demand. With the changing market and the growth of e-commerce, the ATR 72-600F offers another “solution for a growing cargo market, especially regional”, he said. “We are fully committed to providing regional and sustainable connectivity. The ATR 72-600F delivers more than just cargo, it helps support communities, businesses and economies. FedEx is no stranger to ATR, with over 40 of our turboprops in their existing fleet. We are proud to continue this collaboration with this world leader and that they have chosen the ATR 72-600F as part of their fleet renewal programme. This sets FedEx at the forefront of responsible aviation with the most fuel-efficient aircraft currently on the market.”