MIAMI – Airbus’ board of directors has officially approved the design and development of freighter aircraft based on the Airbus A350. The move is a long-awaited shake to Boeing’s freight market dominance.

Airbus expects the A350F to hit the market by 2025 and that the aircraft will be based on the A350-1000 version along with a payload capacity of more than 90 tons.

Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Comments from Airbus CEO

“We are enhancing our product line with an A350 freighter derivative, responding to customer feedback for increased competition and efficiency in this market segment,” stated Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

“We believe we have a very promising aircraft,” Faury further said.

The pandemic has shot up E-commerce demand and likewise for freighter aircraft to get the job done. The company is getting “closer every day” to sign a potential deal with launch customers.

Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Competition with Boeing

While on the other side, rival Boeing has held a firm share of the cargo market with a dedicated freighter fleet of 737, 747, 757,767, and 777.

Though the A350F makes headlines and opens a new door for Airbus, Boeing is hopeful to launch a freighter version of the new 777X model in the near term.

Besides the freighter announcement, Airbus also mention it would deliver 600 jets this year taking its operating profit up to €4bn. The manufacturer also expects to have a free cash flow of €2bn by the year-end.

Featured image: Airbus Industrie F-WMIL Airbus A350-1041. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways