Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways has confirmed its order for seven Airbus A350 freighters, cementing an agreement originally unveiled in mid-February.

The airline already had orders for 20 A350-1000s, of which five have been delivered.

Airbus says the freighters are “adding to” Etihad’s order for the -1000s.

“This additional cargo capacity will support the unprecedented growth we are experiencing in the Etihad Cargo division,” states Etihad Aviation Group chief Tony Douglas.

He describes the A350F as a “remarkable fuel-efficient aircraft” which will operate “in tandem” with the -1000 to support decarbonisation objectives.

Etihad A350F-c-Airbus

Source: Airbus

Etihad, the latest firm A350F customer, is already an A350-1000 operator

Seven A350Fs assigned to an undisclosed customer had appeared in Airbus’s backlog on 22 June, taking overall firm agreements for the freighter to 31 by the half-year point.

As part of its freighter order the Abu Dhabi-based carrier has firmed a long-term Airbus flight-hour services package for the A350, and signed for the airframer’s Skywise health-monitoring product.

These will collectively assist with maintaining aircraft performance and reliability, and enable the carrier to access real-time management of aircraft events and troubleshooting.

Etihad was previously an operator of the A330-200F, ordering and receiving five of the type, but withdrew them as part of a fleet-restructuring programme.

It had also been a more prominent customer for the A350, with 62 on order, including 40 A350-900s, before cutting two-thirds of this backlog in February 2019 to leave the 20 A350-1000s.