Textron Aviation this week delivered the first C408 SkyCourier to launch customer FedEx.
The occasion marks the entry into service of Cessna's twin turbo-prop utility aircraft after a five-year development program.
FedEx took delivery of its first Cessna in the mid-1980s and the two companies have had a collaborative relationship over the four decades since,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation.
“We’re thrilled to deliver this aircraft that will help FedEx serve its customers more efficiently as it is designed with the option to carry industry-standard prepacked cargo containers.
"We believe many other air freight, passenger and special mission operators also will benefit from the winning combination of low operating costs and unparalleled lift capacity that the new Cessna SkyCourier brings to the market.”
FedEx has ordered 50 SkyCouriers with an option for a further 50, which it will operate alongside its fleet of more than 230 C208 Cargomaster versions of the Caravan SETP.
“For nearly 50 years, FedEx has been known for being flexible and innovative in finding solutions for our customers, and this aircraft will help us better serve small and medium markets where we aren’t able to operate our larger aircraft,” said Scot Struminger, CEO and Executive Vice President of Aviation, FedEx Express.
"The SkyCourier will make us more efficient, now being able to move containerised and palletised freight for our customers.”
Textron began developing the SkyCourier in 2017 in conjuction with FedEx. The first prototype flew in May 2020 and the FAA issued the type certificate in March this year.