DALLAS – Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EY) has firmed up its order for seven Airbus A350F Freighters to be used by its cargo division. The move follows the signing of a letter of intent for the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97-powered aircraft at the Singapore Air Show in February.
“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,” said Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.
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“This additional cargo capacity will support the unprecedented growth we are experiencing in the Etihad Cargo division. 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,” he added.
The A350F shares a high level of commonality with the passenger variant, of which EY currently operates five of the largest -1000 series. Featuring a large main deck cargo door and optimized pallet and container capacity, the freighter can accommodate 109 tonnes of cargo.
Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, Christian Scherer, said, “Airbus is delighted to extend its long-standing partnership with Etihad Airways, who recently introduced the A350 passenger services and is continuing to build on the Family with the game-changing freighter version, the A350F. This new generation large freighter brings unprecedented and unmatched benefits in terms of range, fuel efficiency, and CO₂ savings, that support customers by enhancing operational efficiencies at the same time as reducing environmental impact.”
The airline has also finalized a long-term agreement for Airbus’ Flight Hour Services (FHS) to maintain its A350 fleet. FHS is the European plane makers ‘comprehensive material & maintenance service based on a contractual fixed hourly-rate payment.’
It will also utilize the Airbus Skywise Health Monitoring system, which will allow ‘the airline to access real-time management of aircraft events and troubleshooting, saving time and decreasing the cost of unscheduled maintenance.’
Featured Image: Mr. Douglas said that the A350F will be used to drive the cargo division’s long-term strategy. Photo: Airbus