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Old DC-10s For Fedex - Still Chances To Be Cvtd.?

Fri Nov 28, 2003 2:10 am

There are still quite a number of DC-10s parked since years that have been aquired by Fedex for conversion to freighters. Some of these aircraft are 30 years old, some ex-AA aircraft have been scrapped as Fedex obviously bought more than they need.
Do you think that Fedex will still convert DC-10s that are more than 25 years old? Or is it that in the light of many MD-11s about to be retired from airline service these days Fedex will switch over to the newer planes and just keep the old 10ers as spare sources for their sizable active DC-10F fleet (many of which are also around 30 years old already)?
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RE: Old DC-10s For Fedex - Still Chances To Be Cvtd.?

Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:24 am

Fedex has scrapped or plans to scrap up to 30 older DC-10s that it bought over the years. Many of them were always intended to be used for spares, as airframes with over 100,000 hours on them would be subject to more frequent checks. CO has a few for sale in the desert, one has over 115,000 hours on it. United has a DC-10F that FedEx didn't pick up, that is only 800 hours away from a D check that is still available. I'm sure FedEx would look to get more MD-11s, however the demand is currently very high for them. EVA is converting some of its passenger fleet over, as is Alitalia. Lufthansa Cargo is getting second-hand airframes. The JAL fleet is going to UPS, as are some of the Brazilian ones (Varig or VASP, I can't remember, too many V's). The only really outstanding source would be the Swiss ones. These were sold to FedEx by Swissair, however FedEx cancelled the deal when Swissair went bankrupt, most likely in an effort to get better terms on the deal. Combine that with only 195 total airframes in existence and you can see how tight the market is.

Na: Since you're the resident 747 fleet expert here, and we're talking about high time cargo jets, have you heard anything about Boeing putting absolute airframe life limits on the 747 fleet? I heard that they were to set a max number of hours/cycles on the plane. This could force the retirement of 30 or so freighters (Polar, UPS, Evergreen, Kalitta) and may further compound the cargo aircraft market problems.

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RE: Old DC-10s For Fedex - Still Chances To Be Cvt

Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:41 am

and no, I´ve not heard of anything regarding a official flight hours limit issued for 747s. But I agree with you that about 30 freighters are within an age that they will have to face retirement soon.
Especially Evergreen´s fleet is due for it, their youngest 747 is from the mid-70s!
Kalitta is already (besides expanding generally) flying its second generation of 742Fs ( 2 or 3 about 20 year old ones bought from CI, one from JAL) which are about ten years younger than the older 747Fs they joined, although it came as a surprise to me that they recently bought a 30 years plus old ex-AA, ex-UPS aircraft as well.
UPS seems to replace old 741Fs with MD11Fs one by one when they are due for D-checks or develop other mechanical issues, and keeping its 742Fs for some time.
Polar´s plans I don´t know of, but most of its early 741Fs have been retired as well now.

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