FedEx will retire MD-10 freighters from 2022

US airline is one of the few operators of the DC-10 trijet, launched by McDonnell Douglas in the 1970s to compete with the Boeing 747

The cargo company FedEx plans to start retiring the 17 remaining MD-10 jets in its fleet from 2022. The US company is one of two civilian operators of the trijet aircraft (the other is TAB Cargo, from Bolivia), which started flying in the 1970s.

“We’ve successfully retired all of our A310 aircraft, and we expect to withdraw all of our MD-10 fleet by the end of fiscal year 2022,” the company said in its annual report.

Renamed as MD-10, the widebody aircraft is originally the DC-10, developed by McDonnell Douglas as a competitor to the Boeing 747 on long-haul routes. In addition to the passenger versions, the manufacturer also supplied a military model, the KC-10 Extender, to the U.S. Air Force, and a freighter, of which FedEx became a customer in the early 1980s.

The company, which had 77 aircraft, currently operates with four MD-10-10 (with a range of 3,700 km and 65 tons of payload) and 13 DC-10-30, capable of flying for almost 7,000 km with 82 tons of payload.

FeDex Ship Center in Memphis (Sean Davis)

Exotic fleet

The largest cargo company in the USA, with 460 planes, FedEx operates an exotic list of planes that includes ATR turboprops, A300-600 and several Boeing models such as 737, 757, 767 and 777F, which should replace the MD-10. In addition to them, FedEx also has 59 MD-11 freighters, a jet that succeeded the DC-10 in the early 1990s, offering greater capacity and range.


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