Etihad to buy A350F bundle

Photo: Airbus

Etihad Airways has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for seven Airbus A350F freighters to add to its existing fleet of five A350-1000 passenger aircraft.

The announcement was made at the Singapore Airshow 2022. Etihad has also selected Airbus’ Flight Hour Services (FHS) to support its entire A350 fleet.

“Etihad is delighted to extend our relationship with Airbus to include this remarkable aircraft as part of our freighter fleet for the future,” said Tony Douglas, Group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group. “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 CO ₂ emissions by 50%.”

Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of international, said: “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.”

With a 109 tonne payload capability, the A350F can serve all cargo markets. The aircraft features a large main deck cargo door, with its fuselage length and capacity optimised around the industry’s standard pallets and containers.

The A350F is designed to meet the evolving environmental requirements that are shaping the future of air freight. The aircraft will be powered by fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines.

More than 70% of the airframe of the A350F is made of advanced materials, resulting in a 30 tonne lighter take-off weight and generating at least 20% lower fuel consumption and emissions over its current closest competitor, said Airbus. The A350F fully meets ICAO’s enhanced CO₂ emissions standards coming into effect in 2027.

The deal comes as Singapore Airlines (SIA) has finalised a purchase agreement with Airbus for seven A350F freighters.

Other recent orders of the A350F have been from CMA CGM and Air France-KLM.

Fellow Middle East-based airline Qatar Airways recently became the launch customer for Boeing’s new 777-8 freighter, ordering 34 of the aircraft with options for a further 16 in a deal that is valued at more than $20bn based on list prices.

Singapore Airlines finalises purchase of 7 A350Fs

Boeing launches new freighter with Qatar Airways order

CMA CGM firms up A350F order


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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]