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FedEx orders Boeing freighters for $6.6 billion

FILE PHOTO: People stand near the FedEx Express logo during the presentation of the future extension of the FedEx hub in Roissy-en-France, North of Paris, France, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

(Reuters) - FedEx Express, a unit of package delivery company FedEx Corp , has ordered 24 medium and large freighters from Boeing Co , the world's biggest planemaker said on Tuesday, as e-commerce demand boosts air freight business.

The new airplanes, Boeing's 767 and 777 freighters, have a list price of $6.6 billion, said Boeing, which has sold more than 50 widebody freighters so far this year, including the latest order.

Air freight demand is expected to increase 4 percent this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Last year was the best for cargo since 2010, with traffic growth more than doubling to 9 percent, three times the growth in capacity.

While trade tensions are rising, the industry is counting on e-commerce continuing to soar, with more people buying products online for quick delivery.

FedEx's order comes nearly four months after rival United Parcel Service Inc said it had ordered 14 additional Boeing 747-8 cargo jets.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)