Airbus secures A350 freighter launch customer

By Damian Brett

CGI Air Lease A350F. Source Airbus

Air Lease has placed a provisional order for A350 freighters, making it the launch customer for Airbus’ new freighter programme.

The aircraft lessor placed a provisional order for seven of the freighter aircraft at the Dubai Airshow as part of a wider deal for 111 Airbus aircraft.

The order will be finalised over the coming months, Air Lease said.

Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, said: “ALC’s order signals we’re moving beyond the Covid doldrums.

“With foresight, ALC is solidifying its order portfolio for the most desirable aircraft types as we exit the crisis and in particular, it has seen the formidable value the A350F brings to the cargo market.

“ALC’s endorsement confirms the global enthusiasm we see for this quantum leap in the freighter space and we applaud its insightfulness in selecting it and in beating everyone to the finish line for the first A350F order announcement.

“In addition we agreed to make our sustainable aviation vision part of this agreement which is a priority for us both.”

The A350F is based on the A350-1000 aircraft and will offer 20% less fuel burn than existing twin-jet freighters, 30% less than a three jet aircraft and 40% less than a four engine model.

So far, it is the only new generation freighter aircraft ready for the 2027 ICAO CO2 emissions standards.

Airbus believes that these new regulations will result in a wave of replacements as existing newbuild widebody freighter programmes become obsolete.

The aircraft’s capacity is expected to be around 90 tonnes.

 

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