FedEx places the biggest-ever order for 767 freighters

FedEx has placed the biggest order for Boeing 767s.

The cargo and package delivery company announced Tuesday that it has ordered 50 767-300 freighters and has options for another 50 of the airplanes, which are assembled at Boeing’s Everett plant.

Based on the airplane’s sticker price, the deal is worth nearly $10 billion. However, big buyers — and this order definitely meets the criteria — are able to negotiate considerable discounts.

The deal’s value is probably closer to $4.2 billion based on pricing data from aircraft valuation firm Avitas, the Seattle Times reports.

When FedEx buys airplanes from the manufacturer, it usually orders airplanes nearing the end of production, when it can negotiate steep discounts. The company also gets many passenger airplanes from airlines and then converts them to freighters.

The new 767 will be used to replace FedEx’s DC-10s. The company has 647 aircraft in all in its fleet, according to its website.

Before Tuesday’s order, FedEx already accounted for the 767’s line entire 35 aircraft backlog. Boeing’s 767 program is also building 179 KC-46 tankers for the Air Force, though the military has not formally given the green light to start production.

The current 767 production rate is 1.5 aircraft a month. Boeing plans on increasing that to 2 a month in 2016.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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