Starlux Airlines Elevates Cargo Capabilities With Airbus A350 Freighter Order

Rowena Lo Featured, News, Uncategorized

Starlux Airlines, a Taiwanese airline that began operations just four years ago, has recently made a significant move in the aviation industry by ordering five A350 freighter airplanes from Airbus. This decision marks Starlux as the first Taiwanese airline to operate this next-generation cargo jet, signaling its entry into cargo transportation, particularly focusing on the global demand for electronic components and semiconductors—a market Taiwan is prominently known for.

The deal was announced during the Singapore Airshow and highlights Airbus’ competitive edge over Boeing, particularly in the race to supply the future of cargo aircraft. Starlux’s choice of the A350 freighter is strategic, given its plan to deploy these aircraft on major intercontinental trade routes, leveraging the expected rise in demand for cargo capacity.

The A350 freighter is still under development and is anticipated to offer significant advantages in terms of payload capacity, range, and fuel efficiency. Capable of carrying up to 122 tons of cargo over 4,700 nautical miles, the A350 freighter also boasts the largest main deck cargo door in the industry and a construction that utilizes advanced materials for over 70% of its airframe. These features contribute to its 20% better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared to current models like the Boeing 777 and 747-400.

Airbus has received 55 orders for the A350 freighter from various airlines and leasing companies, indicating a strong market interest. However, Boeing’s 777-8 freighter, which also has 55 orders, remains a close competitor, with certain advantages in payload capacity and cargo volume. The industry’s preference between Airbus and Boeing often depends on existing fleet compositions, as operating a homogeneous fleet can reduce costs related to pilot training, maintenance, and operations.

This move by Starlux not only reflects the growing competition between Airbus and Boeing in the cargo aircraft market but also highlights the cautious optimism in the air cargo industry, which is slowly recovering from a recent downturn. The decision underscores the importance of advanced technology, fuel efficiency, and environmental considerations in shaping the future of air freight.

Although most of the services of Starlux is focused on Intra Asia, this announcement will present new opportunities for Asia /North America and Asia / European Lanes for the future. 

The Canaan Group airfreight team consistently collaborates with leading airlines including JAL, EVA Airlines, KLM/Air France, Air Canada, ANA, Lufthansa, Qatar, Turkish, and many others to offer extensive global service points, ensuring the most efficient transportation of your urgent cargo.