DALLAS – Airbus is pushing on with the development of its A350 Freighter, announcing an upgrade to its payload capability. Instead of the initial plans for 109 tons, the dedicated cargo airliner will now be capable of handling 111 tons.
Speaking of the changes Florent Massou, senior vice president for wide-body programs, said that the move would allow airlines to produce additional revenues while gaining improved efficiencies.
The A350F was first revealed two years ago and since then has racked up 39 orders from airlines such as Air France/KLM (AF/KL), Etihad Airways (EY) and Singapore Airlines (SQ).
The European plane maker recently revealed that it expects demand for wide-bodied freighters to reach at least 1,490 airframes by 2043.
Breaking Boeing’s Monopoly
The first parts of the aircraft have been cut, including the Centre Wing Box (CWB) at the Airbus Atlantic facility in Nantes. However, due to supply chain issues, the manufacturer has since delayed the entry-into-service for the type from 2025 to 2026.
Currently, the global air freight industry is dominated by Boeing with its 747F, 777F and 767Fs. Airbus hopes to break this monopoly by making the A350F a more attractive proposition to customers. The aircraft will feature the widest main-deck cargo door found on any dedicated freighter, at 175in (4.44m). This, the manufacturer said, will allow for easier operations when loading the aircraft and allow customers to transport more “difficult packages.”
Featured Image: Airbus.