In its weekly report on orders and deliveries, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) said that it has received six new orders for its 767 from an unidentified customer. That brings total orders for the 767 to seven for the year to date. The other one was ordered by FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) in March and could indicate that FedEx is considering beefing up its fleet of the 767-300F freighter.
Net new orders through June 14 now total 275, based on new orders of 305 Boeing jets less 30 cancellations. The bulk of the year’s new orders, 239, have been placed for various versions of the 737. Customers have also placed new orders for 13 787s, 12 777s and four 787s, in addition to the seven new orders for the 767.
FedEx ordered 50 of the 767 freighters last summer in a deal valued at $10 billion at the 767’s list price of $199.3 per copy. General Electric Co.’s (NYSE: GE) will supply its CF6-80C2 engines for all 50 of the aircraft.
Another possible customer for the new orders for the 767 is Air Transport Services Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ATSG), which is leasing 20 of the planes to deliver packages for Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Air Transport is leasing the planes for terms of five to seven years, so an order placed now for new 767s will be added to the queue of 75 already on Boeing’s books.
Boeing’s production rate on the 767 is currently two per month, and the company plans to raise that to 2.5 per month by the fourth quarter of 2017. The backlog will keep the company busy until about 2020, at which time the first of the leased Air Transport planes will be coming off lease.
Amazon itself could have placed the order for the 767s, but that is less likely. Transport firm Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: AAWW) also has struck a deal with Amazon for 10-year dry leases on 20 767-300 converted freighters and seven- to 10-year crew, maintenance and insurance contracts. Atlas CEO Bill Flynn said earlier this week that there are already about 150 of the planes in the global fleet that are suitable for freighter use. According to Planespotters.net, Atlas currently owns nine 767-200s and 10 767-300s.
Amazon also has acquired the right to purchase up to 19% of Air Transport Services and up to 20% of Atlas Air over the next five years.