Boeing is the winner as Federal Express cancelled its ten aircraft commitment for Airbus A380s and made up its capacity shortfall with 15 Boeing 777 freighters.
The announcement was only surprising in its make-up and timing. Whilst the freight operator's dissatisfaction with Airbus was known, clearly Boeing's ability to come up with delivery timings to suit FedEx played its part. FedEx expects to take delivery of four Boeing 777 in 2009, eight in 2010 and the remaining three in 2011.
FedEx Corp's chairman, president and CEO Frederick Smith commented: "Global demand for air cargo and express services continues to grow rapidly and we have made significant investments in our network to meet customers' needs and fulfil our business objectives. Therefore, it was necessary and prudent for us to acquire the Boeing 777 Freighter.
"The availability and delivery timing of this aircraft, coupled with its attractive payload range and economics, make this choice the best decision for FedEx, its customers, shareowners and employees."
FedEx continues to be Airbus' largest wide-body aeroplane customer and will add additional new and used Airbus wide-body aircraft to its fleet in coming years. Six new A300-600 aircraft are scheduled to join the FedEx fleet in 2007.