Singapore Airlines (SIA) has signed a Letter of Intent with Airbus to purchase seven A350F freighter aircraft, with options to order another five aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2025, when SIA will become the first airline to operate this new generation widebody freighter aircraft.
The agreement includes a swap with 15 A320neo and two A350-900 passenger aircraft that are in the SIA Group order book. This allows SIA to manage its capital expenditure, while continuing with the essential freighter renewal programme.
The A350F can carry a similar volume of cargo as the Boeing 747-400F, which it will replace in the SIA fleet. It burns up to 40% less fuel on similar missions to provide better operating economics, and boasts a longer range that offers greater flexibility in aircraft deployment. The A350F is powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engine.
Renewing the freighter fleet reflects SIA’s continued investment in the air cargo segment, which is a core business for the Company. SIA has bolstered its cargo capabilities over the last few years, especially in key segments such as e-commerce, fresh produce, and pharmaceuticals. Adding the A350Fs will reinforce SIA’s leading position in the sector, while strengthening Singapore’s position as a global air cargo hub. For more information on SIA’s cargo business, please see Annexe B.
Replacing the 747-400Fs with the A350Fs would cut SIA’s carbon emissions by around 400,000 tonnes annually, based on current operations. As the A350Fs and the other new-generation aircraft that are in its order book enter into service, the Group’s future fleet will remain one of the youngest in the industry.
“This agreement with Airbus reinforces SIA’s position as a leading global air cargo carrier, while advancing our sustainability goals. The A350Fs will replace our seven 747-400F freighters, with the options providing the ability to adapt our requirements to future demand in the cargo market.
“The pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in the cargo business, and bolstering the SIA Group’s diverse revenue streams. Air cargo also plays a vital role in keeping open global supply chains, especially to transport essential goods during these times. SIA has worked closely with our partners in Singapore and around the world to deliver items such as vaccines, personal protection equipment, and food supplies, and we will continue to support such efforts.”
About A350 Freighter
Earlier this year Airbus received Board of Directors approval for a freighter derivative of the A350 designed to meet the imminent wave of large freighter replacements and the evolving environmental requirements, shaping the future of airfreight.
As part of the world’s most modern long-range family, the A350F will have a high level of commonality with the A350 passenger versions. With a 109 tonne payload capability, the A350F will serve all cargo markets. The aircraft features a large main deck cargo door, with its fuselage length and capacity optimised around the industry’s standard pallets and containers.
Over 70% of the airframe will be made of advanced materials, resulting in a 30 tonne lighter take-off weight and generating at least 20% lower fuel consumption and emissions over its current closest competitor. The A350F will fully meet ICAO’s enhanced CO₂ emissions standards coming into effect in 2027.
Singapore Airlines is the world’s largest operator of the A350, with 56 aircraft currently in service across its network. The agreement with Singapore Airlines is the third commitment received for the new A350F over the past month.