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Etihad Airways is set to become the next customer for the new Airbus A350F. The airline has signed a Letter of Intent for seven aircraft on the second day of the Singapore Airshow. Day 2 Singapore Airshow: Etihad to re-introduce full freighters with A350F LoI.

The LoI confirms Etihad’s intention to re-introduce a fleet of full freighters. The carrier operated five factory-build A330-200Fs between August 2010 and December 2017 but decided to phase them out the type. The A330s are now used by European Air Transport Leipzig on behalf of logistics company DHL.

During the Covid-crisis, Etihad operated cargo-only services with five modified Boeing 777-300ERs. They helped to boost cargo revenues from $0.5 billion to $0.8 billion during the first half of its current financial year.

“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 fifty percent”, says CEO Tony Douglas in a media statement. Etihad currently operates five A350-1000s (picture) and has fifteen more on order.

So far, Air Lease Corporation, CMA CGM, and Singapore Airlines have confirmed orders for eighteen A350Fs. Air France still needs to confirm its LoI for four freighters that was announced in December. Including the LoI from Etihad, the new freighter has now orders and commitments for 29 aircraft.  

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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