July 8, 2015, © Leeham Co.: Boeing may be close to a large cargo airplane deal that could solve several near-term problems, Leeham News and Comment has learned.
It’s not the 747-8F and the 777F may play only a small part of the transaction.
The plane is the venerable 767-300F, the old lady in the Boeing line up that is chugging along with just 35 in backlog, all for package carrier FedEx.
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.
FedEx has 45 Boeing MD-11s in operation, according AirlinesFleet.net. Many are in domestic service, where the MD-11 is ill-suited for operations. It also has a large number of Airbus A300-600s and Boeing MD-10s that are aging, according to Planespotter.net.
For Boeing, an order for the 767-300F will in some respects be more important than one for the 777F.
Boeing continues to struggle to sell the 777F, with pricing declining and other concessions being offered to entice sales. Former CEO Jim McNerney has been unwilling to acknowledge a production rate cut will be needed, but new CEO Dennis Muilenburg may be more willing to face up to market realities. With cash flow already under pressure from declining 777 sales and price cuts, a large order for the 767-300F will be a welcome boost. It also will likely lead to an increase in 767 production rates as 777 rates inevitably come down.