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If any cargo carrier knows the importance of speed and reliability, it's FedEx Express. The company must deliver three and a half million packages a day all around the world.
So when the Boeing 777 Freighter joined the FedEx fleet in 2009, it had to live up to high standards. Kevin Burkhart, FedEx's managing director for aircraft acquisitions, says the 777 Freighter is delivering big time.
"The tremendous range of the aircraft allows us to serve major markets in Asia, Europe and the United States, carrying more freight and in less time than in the past," said Burkhart. "That translates to faster and better service for our customers."
Burkhart and the FedEx team were in Everett, Wash., this month to take delivery of the company's 12th 777 Freighter.
"The technology that's built into the 777 is really quite impressive." Kevin Burkhart, Aircraft Acquisitions Managing Director, FedEx Express
Since the newest member of the Boeing 777 family entered service in February, 2009, FedEx is among the operators that have given the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter high marks for range, reliability and operating costs.
"We're particularly impressed with the fact that its break-even is as low as it is," said Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline. "I didn't think it would bring down the operating costs by as much as 30 percent. Now, that is something."
The 777 Freighter's ability to carry more than 100 tons and fly the full payload nearly 5,000 nautical miles has allowed carriers like Emirates to open new routes and options.
"It's very, very flexible and we're absolutely delighted by this airplane," said Emirates Divisional Sr. VP Cargo Ram Menen. "Emirates has opted for these brand new, super-efficient aircraft to ensure we are best placed to serve the industry's requirements in the long term."
Boeing 777 Freighter operators are reporting a schedule reliability of 99.37%.
"I think it is very good for Air China...increase the revenue and to provide a better service for the passenger," said.Liu Taishang, Air China vice president, Tianjin Branch.
Powered by fuel-efficient GE engines, the 777 Freighter has the lowest costs per trip of any large freighter. Meanwhile, operators are reporting a schedule reliability of 99.37 percent, meaning the 777 Freighter has a near-perfect record for on-time takeoffs and landings.
"The technology that's built into the 777 is really quite impressive and it allows our pilots, our operations people and our maintenance personnel to really get the most out of the aircraft," said FedEx's Kevin Burkhart.
FedEx says it plans to take at least 28 more 777 Freighters in the years to come.