By Scott Hamilton
Aug. 9, 2021, © Leeham News: Call it Airbus’s attack on Boeing’s final frontier.
After an embarrassing failure with the new-build A330-200F and an ill-conceived A380F, Airbus last month launched the A350F.
Market sources tell LNA this time, Airbus may have a winner. The market sources also tell LNA Boeing, for once, is actually worried about a proposed Airbus freighter airplane.
When announcing the program launch, Airbus didn’t reveal customers. Nor did officials reveal specifications, beyond saying payload will be “in excess of 90 tons.” But information obtained by LNA and analysis by our Bjorn Fehrm revealed the fundamentals in previous paywall articles. And, we know potential customers have seen the specifications under Non-Disclosure Agreements.
It’s also unlikely the Airbus Board would have authorized the program launch without customers ready to go. LNA believes Airbus needed 50 orders to launch the program. With an installed base of combination carriers already operating the A350, these would be target launch customers.
Now, LNA can reveal, Airbus is talking with key customers about potentially offering a new-build A321neo freighter.