Singapore Airlines is set to become the third customer for the Airbus A350 Freighter. The airline has signed a Letter of Intent for seven A350Fs plus five options, it announced on December 15. Singapore third customer for Airbus A350F.
Singapore expects to take delivery of the first aircraft in Q4 of 2025 and says it will become the first airline to operate the type. The A350F will replace the seven Boeing 747-400Fs in the fleet. At 109 tons, it has an almost similar cargo volume as the Jumbo Jet (116 tons) but is forty percent better on fuel burn than the quad and reduces carbon emissions by 400.000 tons per year. As such, the order for the A350F supports SIA’s sustainability goals to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“This agreement with Airbus reinforces SIA’s position as a leading global air cargo carrier while advancing our sustainability goals”, CEO Goh Choong Phong says in a media statement. “It also ensures that we are prudent with our capital expenditure, and adjusts our passenger aircraft order book to give us the flexibility needed to navigate uncertainties in the recovery trajectory. The A350Fs will replace our seven 747-400F freighters, with the options providing the ability to adapt our requirements to future demand in the cargo market.”
The Singapore press release gives a range of 4.700 nautical miles for the new A350F, somewhat below the 5.000 nm provided by Air Lease Corporation(ALC) during its media briefing at the Dubai Airshow. Steven Udvar-Hazy said that at reduced volumes, the type is even capable of 6.000 nautical miles. ALC ordered seven A350 Freighters in Dubai and said it is in talks with five potential operators. One day after the Dubai Airshow, French logistics company CMA CGM Air Cargo announced an order for four A350Fs. The SIA order, once confirmed, brings total A350F orders to eighteen plus five options.
The A350F order means that Singapore Airline will cancel a previous order for fifteen A320neo-family aircraft and two A350-900s that are in the order book.
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.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.