General Aviation Textron Aviation announces new Cessna SkyCourier 408

  • Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation has unveiled the Cessna SkyCourier 408. The large-utility turboprop will enter service in 2020. As launch customer, FedEx Express has ordered 100 aircraft.

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The high-wing turboprop features two engines and can carry up to 19 passengers. Moreover, the passenger-variant includes crew and passenger doors, as well as large cabin windows. To enable faster turnarounds, the aircraft also offers singe-point pressure refuelling.

In addition to the passenger version, Textron Aviation has developed a cargo version. This variant can handle three LD3 shipping containers with 6000 pounds of payload capability overall. The large cargo door and the flat floor cabin contribute to the aircraft´s cargo operability.

FedEx Express has announced to buy up to 100 SkyCourier 408 in the cargo version. The deal contains a firm order of 50 aircraft plus 50 options. David L. Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express said: “FedEx Express has had a great relationship with Textron Aviation over the years, and this new, advanced aircraft will play a key role in our feeder aircraft modernization strategy,” “The Cessna SkyCourier 408 offers a number of significant features that will enhance our long-term feeder strategy.”

Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Aviation added: “With our depth of expertise and proven success in new product development, we were eager to work directly with a world-class company like FedEx Express to jointly develop the Cessna SkyCourier,” “The aircraft will fulfill a gap in this market segment with its superior performance and low operating costs in combination with the cabin flexibility, payload capability and efficiency only a clean-sheet design can offer.”

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FedEx Express´s order contributes to the airlines feeder modernisation plans. Just recently, the subsidiary of FedEx corp. announced a commitment to buy 60 ATR 72-600F. While the SkyCourier 408 will replace aging Cessna Caravans, the ATR 72-600s will replace ATR 42-300F and ATR 72-200F aircraft.

Currently, FedEx Express owns 25 ATR 42-300F and 20 ATR 72-200F aircraft, as well as 239 Cessna 208B Caravan. These aircraft are being operated by several contact carriers. The mother company, FedEx corp., operates with more than 300 feeder aircraft, including MD11s, DC10s, Airbus 300s, Airbus 310s, Boeing 777s, B767s and B757s on worldwide routes.

Textron Aviation is a subsidiary of Textron Inc. and is home to the Cessna, Hawker and Beechcraft brands. In over 90 years of existence, Textron Aviation has delivered more than 250,000 aircraft in over 143 countries.

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