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Sunday, January 29, 2023

FedEx begins to retire its McDonnell Douglas MD-10

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In 2023, FedEx Express, the division of FedEx that manages the transport company’s airline, has yet to fly any of its McDonnell Douglas MD-10Fs, presumably implying that the type may be phased out of the carrier’s fleet sooner rather than later.

Victorville Airport (VCV), one of the largest aircraft storage facilities in the world, has already taken up residence with one of the seven MD-10-30Fs now assigned to the airline’s fleet. The N318FE-registered aircraft arrived at VCV on December 30, 2022, and has been there ever since.

Since late December 2022, several FedEx Express MD-10s have been parked at Memphis International Airport (MEM) or Indianapolis International Airport (IND), raising the possibility that they will be retiring sooner than expected.

All eight of the airline’s MD-10 cargo planes, which were still in service as of November 30, 2020, are expected to be retired by the end of the financial year 2023, which closes on May 31, 2023, according to the most recent Financial and Operational Statistics released by the company on December 20, 2022. The last MD-10F to be transported to the Californian airport was N304FE, which was placed in storage on September 29, 2022, before N318FE took out for VCV.

“To reduce the cost of fuel use and associated GHG emissions, we have implemented efficiencies in flight operations through our global FedEx Fuel Sense program and are replacing many of our older airplanes with more fuel-efficient models,” read a section in the company’s Annual Report 2022 discussing its aircraft fleet.

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