FedEx began retiring its 727-200 fleet in 2007 and
replacing them with more modern Boeing 757 airplanes.
The retirement cycle accelerated under the fleet
modernization program that through the last several
years included more 757 freighters, as well as new
Boeing 777 long-range freighters, which are the biggest
in the FedEx fleet and the world’s largest twin-engine
This fall, FedEx begins taking delivery of new
Boeing 767 aircraft to replace its aging MD-10
with the other aircraft types being introduced, the 767s
will provide significantly improved reliability and are
substantially more fuel-efficient and environmentally
friendly than the aircraft they will replace. FedEx is
committed to reducing its aircraft carbon emissions 30
percent by the year 2020 under its fleet modernization
program. It expects to source at least 30 percent of its
jet fuel from alternative fuels by the year 2030.
“As we celebrate our company’s 40th anniversary, we can
look back at an aircraft bloodline that has been
impressive,” Bronczek said.
“From the small Falcons, which served us well
when the company was young, to our 727s, to what is now
the largest fleet of express cargo aircraft in the
world, our transportation capabilities for global
customers is unmatched in the industry.
Equally impressive are the innovation, technology
and environmental benefits of the new aircraft we are
Not only are FedEx 727s being retired, but nearly half
of the fleet has been donated coast-to-coast to aviation
schools, colleges and local communities in the last
From Anchorage to Austin, from
Billings to Buffalo, from Sioux City to Shreveport and
many points between, FedEx aircraft donations support
school curriculums that are developing the next
generation of aviation professionals.
The donated aircraft are also being used for
training by emergency response teams at local airports
and fire departments.
For FedEx pilots like Capt. Chip Groner, who piloted a
727 for about 10 years, closing the door on 727
operations is a turning point not only for FedEx but for
the aviation industry.
727 was a mainstay aircraft and one of the most
dependable we ever had in our fleet. More importantly,
it was the plane that really put FedEx on the map as an
overnight express carrier,” the 35-year FedEx crew
member said. “It’s
the end of an era, but it’s only natural because of
changing technology that improves the fuel and
operational efficiencies of today’s new aircraft.
The 727, for many pilots, will always be the
airplane that really brought the airline industry into
the jet age.”