DUBAI, Nov 15 (Reuters) – European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) secured a provisional debut order for seven A350 freighter jets from leasing company Air Lease Corp (AL.N) on Monday, stepping up efforts to challenge Boeing for a bigger slice of the booming cargo market.
The expansion of e-commerce has accelerated since the global pandemic, while upcoming international rules on plane emissions are putting pressure on freight operators to modernise fleets.
“It is very clear that … e-commerce is a very stabilising factor in the freighter market place and a growing factor,” said Air Lease Chief Executive John Plueger.
A letter of intent for the freighters signed at the Dubai Airshow on Monday includes more than 100 passenger jets: 25 A220-300s, 55 A321neos, 20 A321XLRs and four wide-body A330neos.
The order will be finalised in coming months, Airbus said, without giving a value for the deal.
Airbus and ALC said they would launch a multi-million dollar ESG fund initiative that would contribute towards investment into sustainable aviation development projects.
Boeing is expected to launch a competing freighter version of its 777X wide-body passenger plane within weeks. It said on Sunday it was in advanced talks with potential customers.
Reporting by Tim Hepher and Alexander Cornwell; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Evans
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