U.S. plane maker Boeing is reportedly close to firming up an order from FedEx for as many as 50 B767-300 Freighters and possibly an additional 10 Boeing 777Fs, Leeham News and Comment reported.
According to the report, FedEx will have a board meeting this month in Seattle where the final decision could be taken.
FedEx has 45 Boeing MD-11Fs in operation, according AirlinesFleet.net. Many are used on domestic services, where the MD-11F is ill-suited for operations. It also has a large number of A300-600Fs and Boeing MD-10Fs that are ageing.
For Boeing, an order for the 767-300F will in some respects be more important than one for the 777F.
Will Boeing increase the production rate of their 767F?
The Leeham News and Comment report said that Boeing continues to struggle to sell the 777F, with pricing declining and other concessions being offered to entice sales.
Former CEO Jim McNerney has been unwilling to acknowledge a production rate cut will be needed, but new CEO Dennis Muilenburg may be more willing to face up to market realities. With cash flow already under pressure from declining 777 sales and price cuts, a large order for the 767-300F will be a welcome boost. It also will likely lead to an increase in 767 production rates as 777 rates inevitably come down.
Another major user of the B767 freighter is All Nippon Airways, which as of May 2015, owns eleven B767-300 freighters.
Nol van Fenema
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