FedEx to place massive freighter order?

FedEx Boeing 767 freighter N107FEThe  aviation news services are on fire with the story that FedEx is on the verge of placing a huge order with Boeing: Fifty 767-300Fs and ten 777Fs.

But The Wall Street Journal, The Business Journal in many cities, Financials Trend, etc, are not publishing their own reports. Rather they are all quoting a single source: Leeham News and Comment, which yesterday said it “had learned” that Boeing “may be close” to a large freighter order. You can read the full Leeham article here, but other than the following two short sentences, there is nothing in it besides background.

“According to Market Intelligence, FDX is likely to order as many as 50 more 767-300Fs and perhaps up to 10 777Fs, a plane it has previously deferred. FedEx has a board meeting this month in Seattle.”

There you have it.

Which is not to say we think Leeham’s speculation is wrong. Cargo Facts believes FedEx had already proposed the purchase of fifty more 767-300s last year, but could not reach agreement with Boeing on price. In the meantime, FedEx executives have been positively overflowing with praise for the 767-300F’s contribution to profitability, and, in addition to the steady stream of 767-300F deliveries from the company’s existing orders with Boeing, FedEx has acquired three from LAN and two from Silk Way. So to see interest in a large 767 freighter deal resurface is no surprise.

Neither Boeing nor FedEx has commented on the report, and we do not know if a formal order is imminent. But, given that Boeing is in the business of making and selling airplanes, and that FedEx obviously desires more 767-300Fs, it would be surprising if the two companies were not at least discussing some kind of deal.

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