FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. will acquire the A380-800F, becoming the launch customer for the freighter version of Airbus' all-new, very high-capacity, long-range aircraft. FedEx Express will take delivery of ten of the aircraft beginning in 2008 when forecasts for growth in key international air cargo markets indicate demand will exceed the capacity of the MD-11, the company's current long-range intercontinental aircraft.
"Global commerce trends in the 21st century will dictate the need for a larger aircraft, capable of flying longer distances and offering greater efficiencies than those provided by aircraft available today," said Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Corp.
"The A380 will be capable of flying directly from our major service points in Asia and Europe to our hubs in the U.S. with nearly twice the payload of the MD-11," said Smith. "Rather than operating daily multiple MD-11 aircraft from these markets, we will be able to operate with a single aircraft, the A380, with tonne/mile costs expected to be about 20 percent lower than with the MD-11. This is the right decision for our customers, shareholders and our nearly 200,000 employees around the world."
As the launch customer for the A380-800F FedEx Express will take delivery of three aircraft each in 2008, 2009 and 2010, as well as one in 2011.
"The FedEx order is a major milestone in the A380 programme. FedEx is our first U.S. customer for the aircraft and the initial customer for the freighter version," said Noël Forgeard, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. "This clearly reflects the versatility of our all-new very large aircraft which was carefully conceived from the outset to be both a highly efficient passenger airliner and a freighter."
Indeed, FedEx was among the 20 carriers who actively participated in working groups throughout the early conceptual phase of the A380 programme, helping to ensure a market-matched product by design.
The decision to acquire the A380-800F also follows a two-year study at FedEx Express of the company's long-term needs for very large, long-range aircraft. Experts in aviation and international trade forecast seven percent average annual growth in the international air cargo market over the next 20 years. FedEx Express reviewed proposals from both Airbus and Boeing for such an aircraft before selecting the A380-800F.
"We considered a variety of options, including the Boeing 747X Stretch, but none met our anticipated demands in the international air cargo market as efficiently as the A380-800F," said Smith. "We look forward to working with Airbus and its employees in Europe, Asia, here in the United States and around the world on this unique aircraft."
Airbus is jointly owned by BAE SYSTEMS (20 per cent) and EADS (80 per cent).
For further information, please contact:
AIRBUS INDUSTRIE - PRESS DEPARTMENT
Tel.: (+34) 05.61.93.33.87 or 05.61.93.34.31
also available on Internet: www.airbus.com