Airbus’ largest cargo aircraft, the A350F has had its entry into service revised. Previously scheduled for 2025, the debut of the aircraft with a capacity of up to 109 tons of cargo will take place in early 2026, the planemaker revealed on Wednesday.
“As the first milestones are reached, the industrial planning for this variant is being slightly adjusted with the entry-into-service now slipping into 2026”, explained a statement from Airbus.
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So far, the A350F has 39 firm orders from Air France, ALF, CMA CGM, Etihad, Martinair, Silky Way, Singapore and from unnamed customers.
The program has recently moved forward with the production of the first components by Airbus Atlantic in Nantes.
The aircraft will take advantage of the compulsory withdrawal of jets such as the Boeing 777F and 767-300F for environmental reasons from 2027. The US rival is developing the 777-8F variant to compete with the A350F, but its commercial debut will take place later on.
A321XLR one year before entry into service
If the debut of the A350F slipped, Airbus again stated that the awaited A321XLR will start revenue flights in the second quarter of 2024, therefore, in about a year.
The ultra-long-range variant of the single-aisle jet promises to reshape air travel thanks to its range of 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 km).
In the first quarter, Airbus delivered 127 commercial aircraft (10 A220, 106 A320neo, 6 A330 and 5 A350), 15 less than in the same period of 2021.
Guillaume Faury, CEO of the company, admitted problems with the supply chain in addition to difficulties with aircraft equipped with the GTF turbofan, from Pratt & Whitney.
Despite this, Airbus maintained its forecast of delivering 720 aircraft in 2023.