Hong Kong’s Cathay has become the latest carrier to order the all-new A350F, following the signature of a purchase agreement for six aircraft. The A350F will join the airline’s cargo division, Cathay Cargo, and will become a central element in its future fleet, bringing new levels of efficiency across its extensive network.
Currently under development, the A350F can carry a payload of up to 111 tonnes and can fly up to 4,700 nautical miles / 8,700 kilometres at significantly lower cost than any other freighter available today. This will enable it to serve all heavy cargo markets, including the world’s biggest freight route between Hong Kong and Anchorage.
Powered by latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent-XWB97 engines, the aircraft will bring a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions of up to 40% when compared with the older 747F and is at least 20% more efficient than its competitor.
The A350F features the largest main deck cargo door in the industry, with fuselage length and capacity optimised around the industry’s standard pallets and containers. Over 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials, resulting in a 46 tonne lighter take-off weight than the competing derivative. The A350F is also the only freighter aircraft that will fully meet ICAO’s enhanced CO₂ emissions standards, coming into effect in 2027.
Cathay Group is already one of the largest operators of the A350, with a current fleet of 47 aircraft. These include both the A350-900 and A350-1000, which are primarily operated on the carrier’s long haul route network.