sorry, looks liek i just answered all those questions I just asked. Here is a press release from the ATR company website:
Memphis, Tenn., January 20th 2003
On January 27, 2003, FedEx Express, a FedEx Corp. operating company (NYSE
: FDX), expects to receive the first of eight ATR 42-320 aircraft acquired under a definitive purchase agreement with Continental Airlines. FedEx Express will use the ATR 42s within its U.S. domestic feeder operations to support, supplement and enhance the FedEx Express trunk aircraft system. The FedEx Express feeder network helps serve customers in geographic areas where surface transportation is not expedient enough to provide the service level desired. In addition, feeder aircraft are also utilized internationally on scheduled routes and to fulfill various other special aircraft lift requirements.
"With its proven technology, maximum payload of over 12,000 pounds and environmentally friendly Stage 3 noise certification, the ATR 42 is expected to meet operational requirements of the FedEx Express feeder network in the coming decade," said Mark Blair, vice president of supplemental air operations, FedEx Express. "Since being introduced in1985, the ATR has proven to have the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in its category."
The ATR 42-320 is a pressurized, high-wing, twin turboprop aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW
-121 turbo-prop engines. With 652 ATRs manufactured to date, the aircraft is now the established workhorse for regional operators big and small, and is known for its efficiency and operational flexibility.
Additional ATR purchases will depend on the company’s future fleet requirements and the progress of its Fokker F-27 fleet retirement program.
ATR 42 becoming the standard in its freighter category.
"The ATR 42 and ATR 72 family of aircraft, converted to cargo, are rapidly becoming the standard in the five-10 ton category of freighters among both the major and the independent cargo operators," said Jean-Michel Leonard, Chief Executive Officer, ATR. "Nearly 30 ATR 42s and ATR 72s are operated in dedicated cargo operations worldwide today. We expect this number to expand steadily at the pace of 10 to 15 units a year."