Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Airbus challenges Boeing cargo dominance with A350 freighter

Stock MarketsJul 29, 2021 08:11AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Airbus is seen at the entrance of its factory in Blagnac near Toulouse, France July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier 2/2

By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) -Europe's Airbus took aim at one of Boeing (NYSE:BA)'s most profitable strongholds on Thursday with plans for a freighter version of its A350 passenger jet, gambling that a pandemic boom in Internet shopping will outlast the global health crisis.

Boeing has for years dominated air freight corridors with its windowless cargo planes, even as its European rival grabbed its crown as the world's largest maker of passenger jets.

Airbus said its board had backed an A350 freighter to enter service in 2025, but did not announce customers.

"We believe we have a very promising aircraft," Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said after unveiling better-than-expected half-year results.

Plans to challenge Boeing's control of the freight market, maintained for decades through its 767, 777 and 747 cargo jets, were first reported by Reuters in March.

The move is seen as certain to trigger a response after Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun on Wednesday listed developments including, "I hope in the relatively near term", a freighter version of the 777X.

The 777X is set to be the world's largest twin-engined passenger jet but its development has been delayed by tightening safety certification standards and weak passenger demand.

The head of Qatar Airways told Reuters last month Boeing was already showing designs for a 777X freighter.

Airbus has for months been informally canvassing support for an A350 freighter to be added to the smaller A330 freighter, whose sales have failed to keep up with the mid-sized 767 workhorse.

FREIGHTER PREMIUM

Airbus hopes the arrival of the world's first lightweight carbon-fibre freighter will provide an opening as tougher emission standards, restricting deliveries of existing 767 and 777 freighters, enter force in 2028.

Boeing is expected to argue that its larger 777X freighter will be more integrated with existing infrastructure.

Calhoun also said on Wednesday exemptions may be allowed for deliveries of current freighters that result in 40% lower emissions compared to the planes they replace.

Thursday's announcement formally begins a race to sign up buyers ranging from express and logistics firms like FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS to freight-minded Asian airlines or dedicated cargo carriers led by Luxembourg's Cargolux.

At stake is Boeing's dominance of a lucrative but volatile corner of the jet market in which freighters can fetch higher prices than passenger equivalents, according to market sources.

"We are closer every day, but we are not at the point where we can announce commercial transactions," Faury said.

Reflecting an economy in transition, the jet's design must juggle the needs of e-commerce leaders like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), who put a premium on the space available for their relatively light but bulky packages, to heavy-duty shippers hungry for more payload.

Industry sources said the A350 freighter would carry 109 tonnes compared with the projected 115-117 tonne capacity of the 777X version, though Boeing has yet to finalise any plans.

New freighters could support depressed output of wide-bodied jets pending a pick-up in international passenger travel.

About half of global cargo by value travels by air, and in turn half of that usually goes in the belly of passenger planes.

During the pandemic, many airlines have been forced to park unused passenger jets, driving up demand for cargo space on dedicated freighters at a time when e-commerce has been a lifeline for many during COVID lockdowns.

Economists warn the trends could start to unravel as the pandemic eases, but Faury said he was not worried about missing a wave of anticipated cargo replacements later this decade.

Boeing last year predicted demand for 2,430 freighters over 20 years, including 930 purpose-built cargo planes and 1,500 converted from passenger airplanes.

Airbus challenges Boeing cargo dominance with A350 freighter
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email