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photo_camera Choosing the A350F marks an “important step” in cutting CO2 emissions and noise pollution

KLM is accelerating its sustainability efforts with an earlier than-planned Martinair order for four A350F aircraft

Fleet renewal is an important part of KLM’s ambition to become more sustainable. In this, we take our responsibility.”

So says the airline’s chief executive Marjan Rintel in explaining why Martinair – the operating carrier for KLM Cargo and part of the KLM Group – placed a firm order with Airbus for four new A350F freighter aircraft.

The company is accelerating its sustainability efforts by placing the order earlier than originally planned. “Instead of in 2027, we will replace the [current Boeing 747] freighters from autumn 2026,” Rintel explains.

The A350F is suitable for carrying a range of cargos, including fresh produce, express shipments, pharmaceuticals, horses and oversized cargo. The maximum payload of the chosen configuration is 108 tonnes.

“We want to emit less CO2 because of the climate and reduce noise for local residents.

“The A350F reduces CO2 by over 40 per cent and noise by 50 per cent compared to its predecessors,” Rintel adds.

Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president Air France-KLM Cargo and managing director Martinair, says choosing the A350F marked an important step for Martinair and the group “to cut CO2 emissions and noise pollution”.

He says: “I am very pleased with these new, technologically advanced aircraft joining the fleet, which fit well in the Air France KLM Martinair Cargo operation.

For our customers, the versatility of the A350F is good news for the future. The new aircraft are an important addition, supplementing the belly capacity of our extensive intercontinental passenger fleet.”

Fleet renewal is one of the most important ways in which the air cargo industry can reduce its carbon footprint, as older aircraft are replaced by more fuel-efficient, quieter modern planes.

Based on the A350 passenger programme, the A350F not only delivers the carbon emissions benefit described by Rintel, but there is also potential for other ways to improve operational and environmental performance.

Airbus thinks operators of the A350F can benefit from Airbus Services technologies to achieve these aims. NAVBLUE’s Idle Facto Optimizer, for example, is intended to optimise the idle factor setting to save time, fuel and distance during the descent phase. On average, the Idle Factor Optimizer saves 50kg of fuel per descent for an A350F, according to Airbus.

The A350F can also be integrated with digital services such as Airbus’ Skywise platform.

Its suite of services gives operators the opportunity to harness the power of big data and “make the right decisions where they matter most”, Airbus notes.

This feature was first published in Airline Cargo Management – February/March 2023. To read the magazine in full, click here.

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