French transportation and shipping company, CMA CGM Group has become the latest Airbus A350 freighter customer, firming up an order for four new freighters on December 20, 2021.  

This purchase agreement follows on from the previous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Airbus and CMA CGM Group on November 19, 2021. 

CMA CGM Group has signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the purchase of four Airbus A350 freighters.

The freighter will be operated by the Group’s new air cargo subsidiary CMA CGM Air Cargo. Currently, the French cargo carrier operates four Airbus A330-200 freighters and one Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft, which will soon be converted into the freighter. 

The first Airbus A350F customer was announced during the second day of the 2021 Dubai Airshow, when ALC signed an order for the freighter version of Airbus A350. 

“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. 

On December 15, 2021, Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the European manufacturer for seven A350F aircraft, with options for a further five.  

Singapore Airlines signs a Letter of Intent for seven A350F freighters, which are set to replace its Boeing 747F cargo 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. 

Boeing pitched the 777X freighter version to ALC before the company decided to become a launch customer for the Airbus A350 freighter.