- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline type:
- Full-service carrier
- Abu Dhabi International Airport
- Year of foundation:
- 2003 year
- General Director:
- Tony Douglas
- United Arab Emirates
- Promotion code:
- Date of establishment:
- General Director:
- Guillaume Faure
- Headquarters location:
- Toulouse, France
- Main product lines:
- Airbus A220, Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Airbus A350, Airbus A380
- Business Type:
Airbus has received another key vote of confidence for its A350 freighter: Etihad Airways has approved an order for seven examples of the wide-body freighter. The UAE’s main carrier, based in Abu Dhabi, sees the A350F and its passenger counterpart as key parts of its efficiency drive.
History of Etihadrelationship with Airbus A350F began earlier this year, when in February 2022 the carrier signed a letter of intent for the type on Singapore Air Show. The move confirmed the airline’s interest in buying seven examples of the new freighter, and today it turned it into a firm order.
This will allow Etihad to increase its cargo volume as events in recent years have highlighted the importance of air travel. Indeed, as we take a closer look, the order will ultimately result in the carrier’s cargo division more than doubling in size. Tony DouglasCEO of Etihad, welcomed the deal and said that:
“Having 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. This additional cargo capacity will support the unprecedented growth we are experiencing at Etihad Cargo. division”.
Etihad also started flying passenger A350-1000s earlier this year. Photo: Airbus
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A new direction for the cargo fleet
According to data from ch-aviation.com, Etihad’s existing freighter fleet consists of five Boeing 777-200 Freighters. Historically speaking, the carrier also operated a sixth instance of this design. These tweezers are relatively young, with an average age of just 7.1 years. However, the delivery of seven A350F aircraft will allow this part of the fleet to continue to grow and modernize.
As Etihad is an existing 777F operator, it is interesting that the carrier did not opt for the Boeing 777XF when it came to modernizing its freighter fleet. After all, the A350F is likely to be one of the 777XF’s most direct competitors. However, the Etihad order is a key boost for the design, which now has 31 orders from six airlines. Commenting on the deal, airbus CCO Christian Scherer said:
“Airbus is delighted to expand its long-standing partnership with Etihad Airways, which recently introduced the A350 [to] passenger services, and continues to rely on the Family with the new version of the A350F freighter.”
Etihad’s existing freighter fleet currently consists of Boeing 777 Freighters. Photo: Boeing
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Both executives were also keen to highlight the environmental benefits of the Airbus A350F for Etihad. For example, Tony Douglas noted that:
“Airbus has developed an excellent fuel-efficient aircraft that, in tandem with the A350-1000 in our passenger fleet, supports our ambition to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Scherer was also quick to draw attention to the plane’s low carbon footprint, adding:
“This new generation of large cargo ship brings unprecedented and unmatched benefits in terms of range, fuel efficiency and CO₂ savings that support customers by increasing operational efficiency while reducing environmental impact.”
Airbus has not yet specified a delivery date for Etihad’s new cargo planes. However, it will be interesting to see how the type enters service with the UAE’s Abu Dhabi-based carrier, who will surely want to add it to their fleet as soon as possible.
What do you think of Etihad’s Airbus A350F order? Have you flown on one of the airline’s passenger A350-1000s? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
https://simpleflying.com/etihad-airways-a350-freighter-order-firmed/ Etihad ordered 7 Airbus A350 cargo planes