FedEx Express has upgraded its London Stansted services by introduced the Boeing 777F. Tom Allett reports.
FedEx Express operated its first Boeing 777F service from London Stansted to Memphis on Monday February 28, replacing the usual MD-11 aircraft.
The company hosted an event to celebrate the launch of the new aircraft, which is the first B777F scheduled cargo operation at London Stansted of its kind. The launch was attended by Nick Barton, Managing Director of London Stansted Airport and hosted by David Binks, Senior Vice President, Operations, FedEx Express Europe.
FedEx says the arrival of the new freighter is part of its fleet upgrade which is: “strengthening the company’s commitment to the environment and efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.”
The new aircraft is said to produce 18% less emissions while burning 18% less fuel on a capacity basis compared to the company’s long-serving MD-11s.
The new type has a greater carrying capacity, lifting 6.8 tonnes more than the MD-11. At the time of writing FedEx Express has so far accepted delivery of 12 B777Fs, including two that are already in service on routes from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Memphis and Hong Kong. There are 33 remaining on order, for a total of 45 B777Fs.
“The launch of the new aircraft at London Stansted is an important step in our long-term commitment of being a responsible corporate citizen both in the UK and around the globe, including many ISO14001-certified FedEx facilities like London Stansted. We have applied our long-standing spirit of innovation to a decade-long effort to reduce energy and fuel usage, increase energy efficiency, and put to use technologies that will change the future of our industry,” said FedEx’s David Binks.
“Global demand for air cargo and express services continues to grow rapidly and FedEx Express has made significant investments in our network to meet customers’ needs and fulfil our business objectives. The environmental efficiencies of this new aircraft, coupled with its attractive payload range and economics, makes the B777F the best choice for FedEx Express and its customers.”
Nick Barton, Managing Director of London Stansted Airport, said, “At Stansted we’re committed to improving our environmental and operational performance so we welcome the arrival of the new FedEx B777F, one of the world’s most modern air freight carriers. With lower noise and emissions levels than the MD-11 it replaces, this investment will also be welcome news to the communities around the airport.
“Having obtained Code F status for the next generation aircraft to operate on our runway and as the only major London Airport with capacity for growth, we’re delighted FedEx selected its Stansted hub as a base for one of their new B777F,” Barton continued. “Along with the environmental benefits, the new aircraft boosts freight capacity, which is very exciting news for industry and business around the region that rely on the FedEx operations here at Stansted.”
From the ground handling point of view the Boeing 777 is easier to load and unload than the MD-11 thanks to the B777’s motorised roller platform that enables the loading team to manoeuvre ULDs into position without having to physically push them into place. The B777 can carry one extra ULD than its predecessor and the FedEx team at Stansted has adapted two Commander 30 high-lift loaders to handle the type, adding a ‘crow’s nest’ to both vehicles in order to improve the ground crew’s view during loading.