FedEx has retired its last Boeing 727 freighter from service as part of the company’s modernization strategy.
The 727’s domestic mission was scheduled to conclude today, with the last flight of aircraft N481FE landing at the Memphis International Airport.
“For more than three decades, our Boeing 727 fleet was instrumental in our company’s domestic growth,” said David J. Bronczek, president and CEO of FedEx Express, in a written statement. “Today, we are opening a new chapter for company growth and opportunity as we continue to modernize our global fleet with more technologically advanced, fuel efficient, lower emission cargo jets.”
“The 727 was a mainstay aircraft and one of the most dependable we ever had in our fleet,” said Chip Groner, a 35-year FedEx pilot. “More importantly, it was the plane that really put FedEx on the map as an overnight express carrier. The 727, for many pilots, will always be the airplane that really brought the airline industry into the jet age.”
The 727 mid-size jet freighter was first introduced to FedEx, then called Federal Express, in Memphis in 1978. FedEx began retiring its 727-200 fleet in 2007 and replacing them with more modern Boeing 757 airplanes. FedEx has since introduced Boeing 777 long-range freighters and this fall will begin taking delivery of new Boeing 767 aircraft to replace its aging MD-10 freighters.