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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Richard Schuurman
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Active as journalist since 1987, starting with regional newspaper Zwolse Courant. Grand Prix reporter in 1997 at Dutch monthly Formule 1, general reporter Lelystad/Flevoland at De Stentor/Dagblad Flevoland, from 2002 until June 2021 radio/tv reporter/presentor with Omroep Flevoland.
Since mid-2016 freelance aviation journalist, since June 2021 fully dedicated to aviation. Reporter/editor AirInsight since December 2018. Contributor to Airliner World, Piloot & Vliegtuig. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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