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  • Joe Breitfeller

Airbus A350 Freighter: SIA Finalizes Order for Seven Aircraft, Etihad Airways Signs LOI for Seven

Airbus is seeing great interest in the new Airbus A350 Freighter at the Singapore Airshow. Singapore Airlines (SIA) has finalized a previously announced agreement for seven aircraft, while Etihad Airways has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for seven A350Fs.


Singapore Airlines Airbus A350F Rendering - Courtesy Airbus

At the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday (February 16, 2022), Airbus announced that Singapore Airlines (SIA) finalized their previous purchase agreement for seven Airbus A350 freighters, with the order being signed by SIA’s CEO Goh Choong Phong and Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer. The order was originally announced in December 2021, and the new freighters will replace Singapore Airlines’ existing fleet of Boeing 747-400 Freighters form the fourth quarter of 2025. SIA is the world’s largest Airbus A350 operator, with 58 aircraft currently in service.

In Wednesday’s announcement, Singapore Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Goh Choon Phong, said,


“This order underscores the importance of the cargo market to the SIA Group. The introduction of the A350F will enhance our capabilities in this key sector, ensuring that we are ready for the growth opportunities that will arise in the coming years. These new-generation aircraft will substantially increase our operating efficiencies and reduce our fuel burn, making an important contribution towards the success of our long-term decarbonisation goals.”


Also commenting on the order finalization, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, Christian Scherer, said,


“Singapore Airlines is the world's largest operator of the A350 and is now set to become the first to fly the all-new freighter variant. The A350F will fit seamlessly into the carrier's existing fleet, while redefining the operational efficiency of its cargo operations, bringing a 40% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions compared with the aircraft it will replace at SIA, while offering the same payload-carrying capacity and longer range. Consumer patterns have changed dramatically in recent times, generating increased demand for the swift transport of cargo by air. With the A350F, SIA will be well-positioned to respond to this enormous market potential in a profitable and sustainable way.”


In a separate press release on Wednesday (February 16, 2022), Airbus further announced that Etihad Airways has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for seven Airbus A350F freighters, which will join their existing fleet of five A350-1000 passenger aircraft. Etihad has also selected Airbus’ Flight Hour Services (FHS) to support their entire A350 fleet.


In Wednesday’s announcement, Etihad Aviation Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Tong Douglas, said,


“Etihad is delighted to extend our relationship with Airbus to include this remarkable aircraft as part of our freighter fleet for the future. As our cargo operations continue to overperform and we work towards a more sustainable future built upon the world’s youngest and most fuel-efficient fleet, the addition of the A350F will play a key role in driving our long-term cargo strategy and achieving our 2035 target to reduce CO₂ emissions by 50%.”


Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, added,


“We are pleased to sign this agreement with our long standing partner Etihad, shortly before this most discerning airline also introduces A350 passenger service. Thank you, Etihad, for endorsing the game changing nature of the new A350F. The world’s only new generation large freighter will be unmatched in its market segment in terms of range, fuel consumption and CO₂ savings.”


As part of the world’s most modern long-range family of aircraft, the A350F will have a high level of commonality with the passenger versions. The aircraft will have a 109 tonne payload capacity and will feature a large main deck cargo door, with its fuselage length and capacity optimized around the industry’s standard pallets and containers. Over 70 percent of the airframe will be constructed of advanced materials, resulting in a 30 tonne reduction in takeoff weight and generating at least 20 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions compared to its current closest competitor. The A350F will fully meet ICAO’s enhanced CO2 emissions standards, which come into effect in 2027.


Highlights of the New Airbus A350F Freighter - Infographic Courtesy of Airbus

The A350F will be powered by the latest generation technology, fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. To date, the Airbus A350F has received firm orders and commitments for 29 aircraft from five customers.



Source: Airbus