LONDON – The KLM Group has announced today that they have placed a firm order for four of Airbus’ newest iterations of its flagship aircraft, the A350 Freighter.
With this order, the KLM group said it is looking forward to the future as the first dedicated freighter to be built in over 10 years continues to see strong popularity in a market that has been for so long dominated by being and the 777 Freighter.
On Airbus’ order books, there is understood to be an order for four A350Fs marked as “undisclosed” for the carrier. It is not yet clear whether this is the order announced today by the KLM Group.
Out With the Old
It is understood that the A350 freighters are being brought in to replace Martinair’s (the operating carrier for KLM cargo) aging 747 freighters from the second half of 2026.
Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president Air France-KLM Cargo and managing director Martinair commented on the announcement of the order today saying: “In choosing the A350F, we are taking an important step to cut CO2 emissions and noise pollution.”
“I am very pleased with these new, technologically advanced aircraft joining the fleet, which fit well in the Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo operation and our Engineering & Maintenance division.”
“For our customers, the versatility of the A350F is good news for the future.”
“The new aircraft are an important addition, supplementing the belly capacity of our extensive intercontinental passenger fleet.
Today’s announcement will be welcome news to Airbus who, as mentioned before, is only just getting back into the dedicated freighter aircraft market.
The A350F offers a 40% decrease in CO2 emissions and makes less than 50% less noise pollution than their predecessors, making it the perfect aircraft for carriers looking to expand their cargo operations with a new modern and fuel-efficient aircraft.
Expansion On Existing Plans and Orders
According to some other news reports, it is understood that Air France will also be taking on additional A350-900 aircraft.
These are bound to join the Air France fleet, taking the carrier’s fleet size up to 41 of the A350 generation aircraft, which will make it one of the largest carriers of the type in the world.
KLM CEO Marjan Rintel said: “Fleet renewal is an important part of KLM’s ambition to become more sustainable. In this, we take our responsibility. We want to emit less CO2 because of the climate and reduce noise for local residents.”
“The A350F reduces CO2 by over 40% and noise by 50% compared to their predecessors. That is why we decided to place this order earlier than originally planned.”
“Instead of in 2027, we will replace the freighters from autumn 2026. We are accelerating KLM’s sustainability efforts with this.”
The decision to have the delivery brought forward is likely part of the Air France- KLM Groups’ commitment to meet environmental targets, which were part of the conditions laid out for their government money support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is understood that the four A350 Freighters today are part of an additional order which will be added to the Air France-KLM group order for found A350f which where ordered for Air France at the end of 2021.
In a report released on Flightglobal it was stated that with these new orders and the revised delivery timetable, Both [Air France and Martinair] will be among the lunch operators of the A350 Freighter.
The Airbus A350F had seen 35 firm orders by the end of 2022, with this announcement today it is likely that this year we will see this number continue to rise.