Etihad confirms order for seven Airbus A350Fs

Etihad Airways has confirmed its order for seven Airbus A350F freighters, after signing a letter of intent with the European manufacturer as part of the Singapore Air Show last February. Thus, the cargo division of the company based in Abu Dhabi will optimize its fleet in a context of sustained growth in demand for the sector worldwide.

On the other hand, the formalization of the order strengthens the relationship between Etihad and Airbus. So far, the airline has already taken delivery of five passenger-carrying A350-1000s, the largest version of the long-haul, wide-body model.

In addition, the airline has also signed a long-term agreement for the manufacturer’s Flight Hours Services (FHS) to provide support to the entire fleet of A350 aircraft. It is also the first contract of this type between Airbus and an operator of the model in the Middle East.

“Building one of the youngest and most sustainable fleets in the world, we are delighted to extend our long-term partnership with Airbus to add the A350 Freighter to our fleet,” said Tony Douglas, Group CEO. Etihad. “This additional cargo capacity will support the unprecedented growth we are experiencing in the Etihad Cargo division,” he added.

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“This new generation of large freighters brings unprecedented and unrivaled benefits in terms of range, fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions savings,” said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International. . In this sense, the executive pointed out that the model improves operational efficiency and reduces the environmental impact of operations.

Etihad’s A350Fs will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. The power plant saves up to 20% fuel compared to previous generation aircraft, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. These features comply with ICAO environmental requirements for carbon emissions, which will come into effect from 2027.

The model offers a payload capacity of up to 109 tonnes, with a large main deck door to optimize space and utilize industry standard containers.

Growth of the air cargo market

The order confirmation takes place against the backdrop of a booming global air freight market. Earlier this week, Etihad Cargo reported increased revenue from this segment in the first half of this year.

In the first six months of 2022, the company posted revenue of $802 million. The figure represents a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2021. The rise was maintained despite the 19% drop in the volume of freight transported, which reached 295,020 tonnes. The resumption of passenger operations has limited the ability of warehouses to transport goods.

As reported by the company, the cargo division contributed 35% of global operating profit between January and June.

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