LONDON – For the second day in a row, Airbus has announced another major order, this time it’s for the new Airbus A350 Freighter, which Air France-KLM had back in December announced a commitment for the aircraft.
The Four Freighter aircraft are expected to join Air France’s cargo fleet helping it become one of the most efficient and sustainable cargo companies in the aviation market.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International said: “Airlines now have a choice, and we salute Air France joining those going for the A350F’s step-change in efficiency and sustainability for the cargo operations of the future.”
“We are gratified by the wave of early adopters who, like Air France, see the economics and environmental signature of the A350s as standing out versus alternatives, past, existing, and future. Merci Air France.”
Airbus A350 Freighter Showing Signs of Success Already
The freighter aircraft is Airbus’ first fully committed freighter aircraft since it produces the A330-200F of which it only built 38, meaning that since the A350F’s announcement last year at the Dubai airshow the aircraft has received 29 orders and commitments from five customers around the world, with a possible expectation that this will increase should Boeing fail to meet the customer requirements and desires on its 777X F.
With the Farnborough Airshow returning this year for the first time since 2018, it is going to be an important time for not just Airbus but Boeing also, as both will be looking to try to secure orders for their widebody aircraft, which have taken a massive hit during the pandemic with airline favoring single-aisle smaller aircraft such as the A321XLR which is due to enter service next year.
However, when we look at the rapidly growing air freighter market, there has never been a higher demand for planes and pilots to meet the global surge, this has been mainly driven by a lack of passenger services which airlines often fill sections of the underbelly of the plane up with cargo, so the question has to be asked now as to whether there is a great need for the A350 and Boeing 777X Freighter.
Minus the obvious solution of these aircraft being used to replace the aging and less fuel-efficient 757, 747, and 777 freighters there really is not a lot to suggest that there will be a constant high demand for freighter aircraft in the next 10 years.
But this, of course, is always subject to conditions outside of known factors until we see how the global demand for air cargo changes or if it even will change it’s hard to say for sure whether or not the A350 Freighter will be a success that perhaps Airbus needs and desires it to become.