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A rendering of Singapore Airlines A350F (Photo: Airbus)
Singapore Airlines signs LOI for seven Airbus A350F aircraft

Singapore Airlines says it is to replace its seven ageing Boeing 747-400F

Summary

  • Its oldest Boeing 747-400F is 21.3 years old
  • Existing A320neo and A350 orders to be reduced

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has signed a Letter of Intent to purchase seven Airbus A350F freighter aircraft with an additional option to purchase five additional aircraft to replace its ageing seven Boeing 747-400F aircraft, becoming the third airline to commit to the type after Air Lease Corporation and CMA CGM Air Cargo.

Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines similar to those fitted on the A350XWB aircraft, the A350F promises to have 40% lower fuel burn and CO2 emission as compared to the Boeing 747F to meet ICAO CO2 emission standards which will come into effect by end-2027.

The twin-engine freighter can carry up to 109 tonnes of cargo, seven tonnes less than its Boeing 747-400F. However, the A350F can fly a longer range at 8,700 km compared to its predecessor’s 8,300 km.

With its high level of commonality with the A350 passenger versions, SIA can roster its A350-900 pilots to operate the A350F seamlessly since it has operated the passenger variant since 2016, becoming the second-largest airline to operate the A350 with 56 aircraft currently in service.

SIA’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, coupled with the excellent reliability of twin-engine aircraft, will be realized with the arrival of the A350F and becoming the airline with the youngest overall fleet in the world.

In response to the A350F purchase, the SIA Group is adjusting its order book by reducing its A320neo orders from Scoot by 12 and its A350 order by two from SIA to manage its capital expenditure while continuing with the need to renew the freighter fleet.

SIA has been operating the Boeing 747-400F since 2002 under the SIA Cargo banner, with its oldest aircraft at 21.3 years old and the youngest aircraft at 15.9 years old before absorbing the entire fleet back to SIA in 2018.

Deliveries are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2025.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400F days are numbered (Photo: Aero_Icarus/Flickr)

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