Etihad opts for Airbus freighter by firming up order for seven aircraft
Etihad Airways has firmed up its order with Airbus for seven new generation A350F freighters, following its earlier commitment announced at the Singapore Airshow.
The freighters will upgrade Etihad’s freight capacity by deploying the most efficient cargo aircraft available in the market.
This order of the A350F sees the national carrier of the UAE expanding its relationship with Airbus, and adding to its existing order of the largest passenger version of A350-1000s, five of which have been delivered.
Airbus employs almost 5,000 staff at its wing-making plant at Broughton, near Chester.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “In building one of the world’s youngest and most sustainable fleets, we are delighted to extend our long term partnership with Airbus to add the A350 Freighter to our fleet.
“This additional cargo capacity will support the unprecedented growth we are experiencing in the Etihad Cargo division. Airbus has developed a remarkable fuel-efficient aircraft that, in tandem with the A350-1000 in our passenger fleet, supports our commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, said: “Airbus is delighted to extend its long standing partnership with Etihad Airways, who recently introduced the A350 passenger services and is continuing to build on the family with the game changing freighter version, the A350F.
“This new generation large freighter brings unprecedented and unmatched benefits in terms of range, fuel efficiency and CO₂ savings, that support customers by enhancing operational efficiencies at the same time as reducing environmental impact.”
As part of the world’s most modern long-range family, the A350F provides a high level of commonality with the A350 passenger versions.
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.
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. The A350F fully meets ICAO’s enhanced CO₂ emissions standards coming into effect in 2027. Including today’s commitment the A350F has won 31 firm orders by six customers.