Singapore Airlines plans to purchase seven Airbus A350F freighter aircraft, as the airline has signed a letter of intent with deliveries scheduled to start in late 2025. Options for five additional aircraft are included in the agreement.

A350F replacement for 747-400F

The new A350F aircraft will replace Singapore Airlines’ seven Boeing 747-400F aircraft, as the A350F carries a comparable volume of cargo. Powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engine, the A350F burns as much as 40% less fuel than the 747-400F. Combined with a longer range and greater deployment flexibility, the A350F will provide better operating economics for Singapore Airlines and reflect the airline’s sustainability goals.

Replacing the 747-400 will allow the airline to lower carbon emissions by approximately 400,000 tonnes each year (based on current operations).

a350f swap Singapore Airlines
The agreement will swap two A350-900 passenger aircraft from the current Singapore Airlines Group order book, allowing the airline to manage capital expenditure while expanding the airline’s freighter renewal programme. | © Marco Macca Travel Radar

As part of the agreement, Singapore Airlines will swap with 15 A320neo and two A350-900 passenger aircraft for the A350Fs.

“This agreement with Airbus reinforces SIA’s position as a leading global air cargo carrier, while advancing our sustainability goals. It also ensures that we are prudent with our capital expenditure, and adjusts our passenger aircraft order book to give us the flexibility needed to navigate uncertainties in the recovery trajectory.” – Mr Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines

747-f Singapore Airlines
The A350F will replace Singapore Airlines’ seven 747-400F aircraft. | © Afpwong Wikimedia

Commitment to air cargo

Singapore Airlines has ramped up its cargo capabilities in recent years, specifically in e-commerce, fresh produce, and pharmaceuticals, and the renewal of the freighter fleet is a milestone for the airline. The introduction of the A350F aircraft will be significant as the airline positions Singapore as a global air cargo hub.

“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.” – Mr Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines

Will you miss the 747 freighter aircraft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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