MIAMI – US cargo giant FedEx (FX) plans to retire its remaining MD-10s by 2023 as stated by the company.

Over the years, the MD-10s were the workhorse of FX’s fleet. In addition to the 17 still flying, FX has operated another 77 since 1980, many as original McDonnell Douglas DC-10s.

FedEx MD-10 Photo: Luke Ayers/Airways

The MD-10s Have Their Days Numbered

As mentioned in, in its second-quarter report issued November 30, 2020, The company revealed it would retire its five Boeing MD-10 Series 10 before the end of 2021 and 13 MD-10 Series 30s over 2021 and 2022. Between then and now, one of the MD-10 Series 10 aircraft, N359FE, was retired, reducing FX’s current MD-10 fleet to 17.

Famous in all airports in the world, the MD-10s do not reflect modern standards, that is in terms of consumption and pollution. In fact, in recent years, the company has moved in other directions: Boeing 777 and ATR42, one of the latest arrivals in FX.

FedEx fleet Credit: FedEx

In a 2020 annual report, FX said, “The expensing provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed in December 2017 encouraged FedEx to order additional Boeing 777F and 767F aircraft. The pro-growth incentives in the law made fiscal year 2019 the optimum time to make these purchases and retire more of our less-efficient aircraft.”

FedEx MD-10 Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

FedEx winks at new aircraft

Over the past few years, FX has begun to modernize its fleet, purchasing 12 Boeing 767-300ERs and 12 Boeing 777Fs in 2018. The FedEx MD-10 Series 10 has a payload of 65,091 kg and a range of 3,704 kilometers. FedEx’s MD-10 Series 30 has a payload of 81,720 kg and a range of 6,852 kilometers.

In contrast, Boeing’s 767-300ER freighter can carry around 58,000 kilograms of revenue cargo and has a range of 11,000 kilometers. Boeing’s 777 freighter can carry 102,000 kg over 9,000 kilometers before a fueling stop.

David Cunningham, President and Ceo of FedEx, states, “The Boeing 767 and 777 freighters have brought greater efficiency and reliability to our air operations. The 777, with its tremendous range characteristics, has allowed us to provide faster transit times around the globe.” 

Featured image: FedEx MD-10. Photo: Phil Wilco737/Airways