General Aviation Textron Aviation delivers first Cessna SkyCourier to FedEx Express

Textron Aviation has officially celebrated the delivery of the very first Cessna SkyCourier turboprop.

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After years of testing and developing, Textron Aviation has celebrated the delivery of its latest Cessna aircraft, the 408 SkyCourier. During a delivery ceremony, launch customer FedEx received the first production aircraft.

Back in March 2022, the clean-sheet aircraft received the type certificates from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which allowed for customer deliveries. The certificate ensures, that the aircraft meets all safety criteria for complication-free operations.

FedEx Express has ordered 50 SkyCouriers and is therefore the largest customer of the new aircraft. The freight giant from the United States has been operating with Cessna aircraft on short-haul routes to smaller airports for decades.

Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation, confirmed: “FedEx took delivery of its first Cessna in the mid-1980s and the two companies have had a collaborative relationship over the four decades since.” 

“We’re thrilled to deliver this aircraft that will help FedEx serve its customers more efficiently as it is designed with the option to carry industry-standard prepacked cargo containers. We believe many other air freight, passenger and special mission operators also will benefit from the winning combination of low operating costs and unparalleled lift capacity that the new Cessna SkyCourier brings to the market,” added Draper.

Scot Struminger, CEO and Executive Vice President of Aviation, FedEx Express, commented: “For nearly 50 years, FedEx has been known for being flexible and innovative in finding solutions for our customers, and this aircraft will help us better serve small and medium markets where we aren’t able to operate our larger aircraft […] The SkyCourier will make us more efficient, now being able to move containerized and palletized freight for our customers.”

In addition to the initial order for 50 aircraft, FedEx Express also holds purchase rights for additional 50 SkyCourier. According to the manufacturer, members of FedEx Express design and engineering teams worked together with Textron Aviation to help shaping the design, features and serviceability of the aircraft.

“The result of four-and-a-half years of collaboration with Textron Aviation on this aircraft, FedEx Express is excited to add the Cessna 408 SkyCourier as part of our fleet modernization program,” Struminger concluded.

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