Singapore, Feb 16 (EFE).- The Singapore Airlines (SIA) has signed a deal with Airbus to purchase seven A350F planes, with the option to buy five more in future, with the airline set to become the first to operate this new-generation wide-bodied freighter.
The deal was signed on Wednesday during the Singapore Airshow, Asia’s biggest aviation fair – which is being held in the city-state until Friday – in the presence of Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phoong and Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer.
The A350Fs will replace seven Boeing 747-400F planes that were being used by the SIA so far, ensuring that the airline becomes the first to operate the latest generation wide-bodied freighters once they are delivered in the last quarter of 2025.
These planes consume up to 40 percent less fuel than the 747-400Fs in the same category, and are expected to help SIA reduce its annual carbon emissions by 400,000 tons.
“These new-generation aircraft will substantially increase our operating efficiencies and reduce our fuel burn,” contributing to future decarbonization goals, Goh Choon Phong said while signing the agreement.
The transaction, whose details have not been revealed, took place on the second day of the aviation fair, which kicked off on Tuesday with less participants than its earlier editions due to pandemic-related restrictions.
More than 13,000 visitors and 600 companies from 39 countries – with the notable omission of China – are set to take part in the event until Friday, at a time when airlines are trying to leave behind the slowdown caused by Covid-19.
According to the International Air Transport Association, the Asia Pacific region – which is finally starting to open up after two years of restrictions – is lagging behind in its recovery in terms of air travel, which had dropped by 66.9 percent in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.