DALLAS — FedEx (FX), the world’s largest cargo airline, recently marked its 50th anniversary of uninterrupted air freight operations with the delivery of its 50th Boeing 777 aircraft at Everett-Paine Field Airport (PAE).
To commemorate this milestone, the carrier organized a special ceremony on August 29, during which the Boeing 777-F, registered as N874FD with serial number 66263, was flown to the FedEx superhub in Memphis. However, it has not yet been put into commercial service.
Executive Chairman and Founder Frederick W. Smith expressed his pride in the company’s achievements but emphasized the importance of looking ahead rather than dwelling on past successes. Over the course of 50 years, FedEx has built an extensive route network, establishing major hubs in cities such as Memphis, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Anchorage.
Currently, FX operates a fleet of 491 aircraft, consisting of eight different airplane variants. Notably, it is one of the few customers that continues to support the production of the Boeing 767, specifically in its freighter configuration.
Half-a-Century of History
Rephrased: On April 17, 1973, FedEx was founded, with the inaugural flight taking off from its base at Memphis International Airport. Initially, the airline operated a small fleet of 14 Dassault Falcon 20s.
FedEx quickly established itself as a prominent cargo logistics company, not just in the United States but globally, thanks to its strategic location in Memphis, which is close to the country’s mean population center. Combined with an efficient overnight shipping program, this contributed to the company’s rapid growth and success.
As FedEx continues to expand its fleet with additional Boeing 777 aircraft, it is also retiring its older jets, including the iconic first-ever McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, registered as N601FE. This particular aircraft, built in 1990 as a testbed for the American manufacturer, holds a special place in FedEx’s history.
Featured image: FedEx