Boeing offered Air Lease Corporation (ALC) the chance to buy a freighter version of the Boeing 777X, before ALC decided to become a launch customer for the Airbus A350 freighter. 

“Boeing made a pitch on the 777X freighter, which will come later, probably around 2028,” CEO of Air Lease Corporation, Steven Udvar-Hazy said during the Skift Aviation Forum seen by FlightGlobal on November 17, 2021. 

During the second day at the 2021 Dubai Airshow, ALC announced its first order for the freighter version of Airbus A350, becoming the launch customer of the aircraft type. 

”ALC was the launch customer for the very popular A321LR and XLR versions. Now, we become the launch lessor for the A350F and by far the largest lessor customer for the A220” ALC executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy said in a statement. ALC has so far ordered 496 aircraft.

Airbus confirmed it was launching a freighter version of the A350 on July 29, 2021. It is targeting entry into service for 2025.

“ALC’s endorsement confirms the global enthusiasm we see for this quantum leap in the freighter space and we applaud its insightfulness in selecting it and in beating everyone to the finish line for the first A350F order announcement,” commented Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

Lessor ALC is ordering 111 aircraft from Airbus across its range of types, including the first A350 freighters  

On November 14, 2021, rival manufacturer Boeing said that it was also in “advanced talks” with customers over a freighter version of its 777X passenger aircraft.

Boeing is in advanced talks with customers for a freighter version of the 777X and is adding new 737-800 passenger to freighter conversion lines