By Putu Deny Wijaya
Singapore Airlines signs LOI for 7 Airbus A350 Freighters
Singapore Airlines and aircraft manufacturer Airbus have signed a Letter of Intent for the carrier to acquire seven Airbus A350 Freighters. The airline intends to upgrade its fleet and extend operations with the aircraft in periods when the E-Commerce branch continues to grow.
The A350Fs will replace Singapore Airlines Cargo’s aging Boeing 747-400Fs, which are on average roughly 18 years old. The cargo division currently operates seven 747 Freighters. Once the A350s are delivered, the airline will gradually replace these planes.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, commented: “We are delighted by Singapore Airlines’ vote of confidence in the A350F as it renews its freighter fleet. The A350F is the world’s all-new large freighter and will be unmatched in its market segment in terms of operational efficiency, lower fuel consumption and CO₂ savings. It is gratifying that Singapore Airlines recognizes the value of the A350F as we build on the strong partnership we already enjoy.”
The aircraft is anticipated to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2025. The fuselage of the airplane is distinguished by the use of modern materials. The composite material reduces take-off weight by 30 tons and reduces fuel consumption and pollutants by at least 20%.
The A350 derivative was authorized by Airbus’ Board of Directors earlier this year. The company was able to sell the first aircraft to launch client Air Lease Corporation at the Dubai Air Show 2021. CMA CGM, a cargo business, bought four A350 Freighters. Singapore Airlines is the third airline to use the new model.
According to Airbus, the plane is based on the A350-900 passenger version: The A350F will have a high level of similarity with the A350 passenger models as part of the world’s most advanced long-range family. The A350F will service all cargo markets with its 109-tonne payload capabilities. The aircraft features a large main deck cargo door, with its fuselage length and capacity-optimized around the industry’s standard pallets and containers.
Singapore Airlines is currently the largest operator of the A350 in the world. The carrier operates with 56 A350-900s. This Letter of Intent signals the airline´s satisfaction with the aircraft and that it sees its operational future in it.
So, how much do we know about the Airbus A350 cargo plane? Since Airbus announced that the type had been approved earlier this year, there has been little public information regarding the aircraft and its capabilities.
The aircraft will have a high level of commonality with the A350 passenger variant, according to Airbus. This indicates that Singapore Airlines’ pilots will most likely be able to fly all four models of the plane.
At the 2021 Dubai Airshow, ALC became the first client to order the much-anticipated A350 freighter. Photo credit: Airbus
In terms of cargo capacity, the Airbus A350F will be able to carry 109 tons of cargo, making it suitable for all freight markets. As is common on many cargo airplanes, goods will be loaded on the main deck via a huge cargo door. Meanwhile, Airbus confirmed that the aircraft is being designed to stake standard-sized containers and pallets already in circulation around the industry.
Singapore Airlines has become the third business to express interest in the Airbus A350 cargo. ALC, a leasing business, was the first to order the type, making its first order (another LOI) during the Dubai Air Show last month. Seven of the jets were also ordered. The CMA CGM firm signed a memorandum of understanding for four more of the planes just days later. After one of the A350 demonstrations was sighted flying under the airline’s callsign earlier this year, it’s assumed that Cargolux would be interested in the type.