Airbus announced that Etihad Airways has ordered seven new generation A350F freighters. The order, which was confirmed on August 3, 2022, sees the national carrier of the UAE add to its existing order of 20 A350-1000s, the largest passenger version of A350. Five of the aircraft have already been delivered.
As a part of the deal, Etihad Airways also firmed up a long-term agreement for Airbus’ Flight Hour Services (FHS), following which the manufacturer will take care of the performance and reliability of the entire airline’s A350 fleet.
The carrier also opted for Airbus’ Skywise Health Monitoring program, under which Etihad will be able to access real-time management of plane events and troubleshooting to save time and decrease the cost of unscheduled aircraft maintenance tasks.
“In building one of the world’s youngest and most sustainable fleets, we are delighted to extend our long-term partnership with Airbus to add the A350 Freighter to our fleet. This additional cargo capacity will support the unprecedented growth we are experiencing in the Etihad Cargo division,” Airbus chief executive Tony Douglas was cited as saying in the manufacturer’s statement.
“Airbus has developed a remarkable fuel-efficient aircraft that, in tandem with the A350-1000 in our passenger fleet, supports our commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” the CEO added.
According to Airbus, the A350F is dedicated to serving all cargo markets globally as it can carry 109 tons of freight. While the cargo aircraft features a large main deck cargo door, its fuselage length and capacity are also optimized to be loaded with the industry’s standard pallets and containers.
The manufacturer claims that more than 70% of the A350F airframe is made of advanced materials, “resulting in a 30 tonne lighter take-off weight and generating at least 20% lower fuel consumption and emissions over its current closest competitor”.
Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, the A350F freighter consumes around 20% less fuel and generates fewer cargo emissions. “The A350F fully meets ICAO’s enhanced CO₂ emissions standards coming into effect in 2027,” Airbus added.
Airbus has a total of 31 firm orders placed by six customers to date, the manufacturer’s orders and deliveries list indicates.
According to Planespotters.com data, Etihad Airways currently has five Airbus A350-1000 passenger version planes in its fleet.