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Starlux to enter the freighter market with A350F order

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Taiwan-based Starlux Airlines will enter the freighter market after it placed an order for five Airbus A350 cargo aircraft at the Singapore Airshow.

The carrier’s chief executive, Glenn Chai, said the entry into the freighter market would enable the carrier to capitalise on “the strategic advantages offered by Taiwan’s geographical location. It also took options on five more of the model.

“With this order, STARLUX will become the first Taiwanese airline to operate the next-generation A350F widebody freighter,” Chai added. “In an era of climate change, the A350F has unbeatable efficiency in terms of fuel burn, CO2 emissions, and economics, offering significant energy-saving and carbon reduction benefits.”

The carrier currently offers cargo transportation in the bellyhold of its fleet of A321, A330 and A350 aircraft.

Air Cargo News sister title FlightGlobal reports that Starlux chairman KW Chang said that the carrier would not miss the opportunity in cargo operations given Taiwan’s importance as a cargo hub.

He also pointed out that carriers with freighter operations had a “lot of revenue”, “good profits” and very strong cargo operations during the pandemic.

He added that Starlux selected the A350F given the commonality with its existing fleet of A350 passenger aircraft.

Starlux operates four A350 passenger aircraft and has outstanding orders for 14 more.

The A350F is currently under development with the first aircraft expected to be delivered in 2026.

The aircraft has a payload of up to 111 tonnes and can fly up to 8,700 km.

Airbus claims the aircraft will bring a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions of up to 40% when compared with the older 747F and is at least 20% more efficient than its competitor.

“The A350F features the largest main deck cargo door in the industry, with fuselage length and capacity optimised around the industry’s standard pallets and containers,” the airframer said.

Airbus’ A350F order book now stands at 55 orders from 10 customers, following its launch at Dubai Airshow in 2021.

Late last year, Airbus secured orders from Turkish Airlines for five of the freighter and Cathay Pacific for six.

Other carriers to have placed an order are: Air France (4), Air Lease Corp (7), CMA CGM (4), Etihad Airways (7), Martinair (4), Silkway West (2), Singapore Airlines (7) and undisclosed (4).

Boeing is also developing a new freighter based on its developmental 777-8 widebody, which has so far accumulated 55 orders from carriers such as Qatar Airways, Cargolux and All Nippon Airways.

However, orders of Boeing’s new aircraft have slowed more recently – the last confirmed order came from Silkway West in November 2021.

Airbus advances development of A350F

Turkish Airlines orders five A350Fs

The post Starlux to enter the freighter market with A350F order appeared first on Air Cargo News.

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