Sustainability, Commitment & Resiliency: Why Singapore Airlines Chose The Airbus A350 Freighter

LONDON – Via an interview with Airbus, Singapore Airlines’ Senior VP of Cargo, Chin Yau Seng outlined why the carrier chose the Airbus A350 Freighter.

Such an interview released by Airbus is something quite rare, meaning this is of course somewhat of a PR drive towards this variant of the A350.

The carrier made the order back in December 2021 as a Letter of Intent before firming it up at the Singapore Air Show.

This piece will look into a brief summary of the points surrounding why the carrier chose the aircraft.

Committed to Cargo Post-Pandemic

Chin started out by mentioning the airline’s feats in the cargo during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes working with non-state actors such as the United Nations:

“We have also worked with international organizations such as the United Nations World Food Programme to transport relief supplies and personal protective equipment to points of need around the globe.”

“And we have been playing our part in the safe, reliable, and timely transportation of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics to various parts of the world, including vaccine shipments under the COVAX facility as part of the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.”

“The pandemic has underlined the importance of investing in the cargo business and bolstering the SIA Group’s diverse revenue streams.”

“We have, for example, strengthened our capabilities in several key verticals, and invested in digital solutions such as Parxl, our blockchain-based e-commerce logistics platform.

“Our order for the A350Fs further demonstrates our commitment to the cargo business.”

Efficiency, Sustainability & Renewal

Chin went on to mention that the A350 Freighters will replace the less fuel-efficient Boeing 747-400 Freighters it has in the fleet already:

“The A350Fs are 40% more fuel-efficient than our current freighters while being able to carry a similar volume of cargo over a longer range.  This will result in operational cost savings, as well as provide additional flexibility in aircraft deployment.”

“Operating the A350Fs would also lower the carbon footprint of our operations by around 400,000 tonnes annually, based on our current operations, supporting, and underscoring our commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

“The A350Fs will eventually replace our seven 747-400Fs. The options for five more A350Fs will provide us with the ability to adapt our requirements to future demand.”

A350 Freighter Can Carry Trent XWB Engines

Chin mentioned in the interview as a little factoid that the A350 Freighter is “capable of transporting large aircraft engines, including the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines that power the A350 family of aircraft.”

Singapore Airlines has a fleet of 58 A350 passenger variant aircraft already, so being able to transport Trent XWB engines would offer more benefits in case an aircraft goes tech.

He also added about how this will help supply chain resilience for the carrier but also for the rest of the world:

“Supply chain resilience has received a lot more attention and emphasis as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Airfreight, with its advantage of speed over other freight transport modes, will be an important element in keeping global supply chains functioning and more resilient to disruptions.”

“And freighters like the A350F will play an important role in responding to any urgent need for the airlift of large quantities of cargo.”


What remains clear is that Singapore Airlines Cargo has raised good points into why the A350 Freighter will be the best option for them going into the future.

The aircraft will meet the needs of reducing the damage caused by the climate crisis as well as offer flexibility to the supply chain of the carrier and will offer better fleet renewal moving forward.

With the 747 Freighters due to be replaced by these aircraft, it’s looking extremely likely that the airline will exercise its options for an additional five A350Fs.

With this interview now in the public domain, all eyes are now on Airbus to see what other ideas it has in its marketing campaign in order to generate more sales against the likes of the Boeing 777X Freighter.

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