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Singapore Airlines Firms Up Order For Seven Airbus A350F Freighter Aircraft

21 February, 2022

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has firmed up an order for seven Airbus A350F freighters, with options for five more aircraft. The agreement was signed today at the Singapore Airshow 2022 by Mr Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines, and Mr Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Airbus. 

The A350Fs will replace SIA’s seven Boeing 747-400F freighters. The Airline will be the first carrier to operate this new generation widebody freighter aircraft when deliveries begin in the fourth quarter of 2025.

The A350F burns up to 40% less fuel on similar missions to the 747-400F, reducing SIA’s carbon emissions by around 400,000 tonnes annually. This supports the SIA Group’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The A350F is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. Please see Annexe A for more information on the aircraft. 

The range and payload of the A350F will provide SIA with greater flexibility in its freighter deployment, bolstering its cargo business and cementing its leading position in the sector. SIA has strengthened its cargo capabilities over the last few years in key segments including e-commerce, fresh produce, and pharmaceuticals. It has also rolled out several digital initiatives that provide greater value and options for customers. Please see Annexe B for more information on SIA’s cargo business.

The A350F deal with Airbus includes a swap with 15 A320neo and two A350-900 passenger aircraft in the SIA Group order book. This allows SIA to manage its capital expenditure while continuing with its essential freighter renewal programme. 

Mr Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Airlines, said: “This order underscores the importance of the cargo market to the SIA Group. The introduction of the A350F will enhance our capabilities in this key sector, ensuring that we are ready for the growth opportunities that will arise in the coming years. These new-generation aircraft will substantially increase our operating efficiencies and reduce our fuel burn, making an important contribution towards the success of our long-term decarbonisation goals.”

Please refer here for a high-resolution image of the A350F and photos of the signing ceremony. 


The Airbus A350F Freighter 

The newly launched Airbus A350F freighter aircraft leverages the benefits of the successful A350 passenger aircraft programme, using advanced aerodynamics and fuel efficiency technology to maximise efficiency in terms of fuel burn, carbon dioxide emissions, and economics. 

The A350F uses over 70% advanced materials such as composites, titanium, and modern aluminium alloys to create a lighter and more cost-efficient aircraft, while increasing resistance to corrosion and reducing maintenance requirements. 

This, together with the A350F’s Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, enables a step change of up to 40% better economic and fuel efficiency versus older generation freighters. The A350F is also capable of meeting the 2027 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) emissions standard. 

The A350F can carry a similar volume of cargo to the Boeing 747-400F, which it will replace in the SIA fleet, with the capability to ferry payloads of some 109 tonnes. Further details on the aircraft are below. 

  Airbus A350F Boeing 747-400F
Length 70.61m 70.7m
Max Take Off Weight 319 tonnes 395 tonnes
Max Payload (structural) 109 tonnes 116 tonnes
Volume 728m3 738m3
Range 4,700 nm 4,500 nm
Engine Rolls-Royce TXWB-97 Pratt & Whitney PW4056




The Singapore Airlines cargo division (SIA Cargo) serves over 90 destinations with a fleet of seven Boeing 747-400F freighter aircraft, as well as via the SIA Group’s modern passenger aircraft fleet. 

The SIA Group aims to further expand its cargo capabilities, capitalising on healthy demand fuelled by growth in e-commerce, fresh produce, and pharmaceuticals, among other segments. Some of its recent initiatives include: 


SIA provides safe and reliable transportation of time-sensitive and temperature-controlled pharmaceutical cargo through THRUCOOL[1], its state-of-the-art cold chain service. SIA’s THRUCOOL capabilities were boosted in August 2021 with the addition of Envirotainer’s temperature controlled Releye® RLP container. This provides customers with live monitoring access, volume optimisation for cost efficiency, and enhanced temperature stability. 

Singapore’s geographical location, coupled with SIA’s extensive network connectivity, and the advanced handling capabilities at Singapore Changi Airport, positions it as a key transit hub for the transportation and distribution of pharmaceuticals around the world. 

Vaccine Transportation 

Several countries have tapped on SIA Cargo to support their national Covid-19 vaccination programmes. In addition to shipping vaccines into Singapore, SIA has transported vaccine shipments from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer-BioNTech, SinoPharm, and Sinovac to many countries in Asia Pacific. 

SIA has also delivered Covid-19 vaccines to countries such as Brunei, Bhutan, Laos, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste as part of the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative. 

Transportation of Essential Supplies 

SIA, the Temasek Foundation, and the World Food Programme joined hands in August 2020 to support the global Covid-19 response, helping to transport essential medical supplies, as well as other health and humanitarian items, by air to points of need around the world. Under this agreement, SIA made ad-hoc charter flights and freight space available for these humanitarian operations on a cost-recovery basis. The agreement was extended in July 2021, allowing SIA and its partners to continue supporting communities in need during the pandemic. 


SIA’s THRUFRESH service offers the swift and reliable delivery of time- and temperature-sensitive perishable cargo such as live seafood, chilled meat, fruits, and vegetables. Its features include dedicated cold chain services such as priority uplift and handling, quick ramp transfers, and cold room facilities to safeguard the integrity of perishables. 

SIA has also attained the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Perishable Logistics (CEIV Fresh) certification. This recognises SIA’s ability to meet the industry’s highest standards with regard to food safety, and prevent food waste along the supply chain. 


Parxl is SIA’s blockchain-based e-commerce logistics platform, which is designed to meet the international shipping needs of e-retailers by offering a seamless and fast cross-border delivery experience right to the consumer’s doorstep. Parxl provides merchants with end-to-end visibility of shipped packages, and access to SIA’s global airfreight network and portfolio of regional delivery specialists, while functioning as a singular touchpoint for all partners along the supply chain. 

Voluntary Carbon Offset Programme 

In June 2021, the SIA Group introduced a voluntary carbon offset programme, which enables its customers to offset their own carbon emissions via dedicated microsites. Since July 2021, this option has been open to SIA’s cargo customers. These contributions will go towards protecting forests in Indonesia, supporting renewable solar energy projects in India, and providing efficient, clean burning cookstoves for rural families in Nepal.


[1] SIA Cargo launched THRUCOOL in September 2018 as a cold chain service to transport high-value, time-sensitive and temperature-controlled pharmaceutical cargo with speed and reliability. The service includes priority uplift and handling, quick ramp transfers at airports, cold room facilities, as well as thermal blankets and covers for crucial insulation from external factors.

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