Airbus A350 Freighter Delivery Delayed to Early 2026

The aviation industry has been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Airbus A350 freighter, a state-of-the-art aircraft designed to revolutionize cargo transportation. However, Airbus recently announced a delay in the A350F’s entry-to-service, pushing it from late 2025 to early 2026. This news comes amid a challenging first quarter for the company, raising questions about the implications for both Airbus and the broader industry. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the Airbus A350 freighter delay, the current state of Airbus’ operations, and the potential impact on the aviation market.

The Airbus A350 freighter delay: Industrial Planning Adjustments

Airbus A350 freighter delay

Airbus cites “industrial planning adjustments” as the primary reason for the A350F’s entry-to-service delay. Interim CFO Xavier Tardy explained that the company is in the execution phase of the program, constantly updating its planning to reflect the development process.

While CEO Guillaume Faury assures that the delay will only span a few months, it remains unclear whether the postponement will significantly affect the program’s development costs. Notable customers of the A350 freighter, such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Air Lease Corporation (ALC), will now have to wait a bit longer to operate the new freighter.

The program reached a milestone in early April after the first A350 freighter part was made at its facility in Nantes, France. The freighter has attracted a reasonable number of buyers over two years after its announcement in 2021.

Ongoing Supply Chain Issues

Despite the A350F delay, Airbus claims that its ramp-up targets for other programs remain achievable. However, the company acknowledges ongoing supply chain challenges, particularly with component suppliers, microelectronic components, aerostructures, and engines.

Faury mentioned that although things seem to be improving slightly, critical situations have yet to be resolved. These supply chain issues have played a role in Airbus’ recent underwhelming financial performance, as the company reported a 62% decrease in net profit for Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022.

Airbus was unsurprisingly down on deliveries year-on-year, with 127 in Q1 2023 falling short of the 142 delivered in 2022 and beaten by Boeing’s 130 deliveries. This led to commercial revenues of €8.1 billion ($8.9 billion) for the quarter, down 5% on 2022.

Impact on Airbus and the Cargo industry


With the demand for air cargo services increasing, the delay could put additional pressure on existing freighter fleets and potentially affect the global supply chain. Furthermore, the postponement may also impact Airbus’ competitive edge, as rival Boeing continues to push forward with its own freighter development plans.

Ultimately, the extent of the impact will depend on how quickly Airbus can resolve its supply chain issues and deliver the much-anticipated A350F to its customers. The aviation industry is closely watching the developments, hoping for a more streamlined and efficient cargo transportation future.

Read also: Air France-KLM Group Orders Four A350Fs for Sustainable Cargo Operations

It is essential to recognize that setbacks are a common part of complex manufacturing processes, especially in a sector as intricate as aerospace. As Airbus continues to work on resolving its supply chain challenges and delivering the innovative A350F, the aviation industry remains optimistic about its eventual arrival.

Airbus A350 freighter delay
©Airbus SAS 2022 Borja Garcia de Sola

The delay of the Airbus A350 freighter’s entry-to-service may be a temporary setback for the company and its customers, but it is not an uncommon occurrence in the complex world of aerospace manufacturing. As Airbus addresses its supply chain challenges and continues the development of the A350F, the aviation industry eagerly awaits the arrival of this revolutionary aircraft. The potential long-term benefits of the A350 freighter could still outweigh the short-term delays, promising a more efficient and streamlined future for cargo transportation.

What do you think the A350F delay means for the aviation industry? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Discover more from Aviation for Aviators

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

You May Have Missed