Don't see FedEx buying an A350.
Meanwhile you will see Amazon, Alibaba, Heike etc all starting their own express freight airlines to transport their own goods and will not linger need UPS and FEDEX.
It always amuses me when people post "such and such airline will obviously not buy the type," often correctly, I should add. It doesn't matter. A plane is launched on the overall market. Sometimes, a group of customers is enough to launch.
AA was an early proponent of the A321NEO. So it is no suprise they ordered 50 A321xlR.
For this A350F, we should look at the likely candidates, not ones who won't buy:
In my opinion, Highly likely:
CA (Air China)
Might be convinced (will bid Boeing vs. Airbus, no sure winner):
BA (all of IAG, IMHO).
Other Chinese airlines (likely, more a question of when due to current outlook).
There is a market for 300+ new build freighters in this class, plus a market for 300+ P2F. There will be less market for A350P2F without a new build A350F (in my opinion). Making the offering only makes sense.
If there is a so called A350NEO, Airbus and RR will need the A350F to smooth out production between the types.
There will be 232 new build 777F (old 777-200LR based version).
There will be 223 factory new 767-300 freighters
In 2017, 24 of 28 widebody freight conversions were the lowly 767, (20 of 28 by IAI/Bedek):https://www.aircargoweek.com/record-yea ... nversions/
Cargo conversions are common:
For example, EFW is in negotiations to convert a bunch of ex-EY A330s to freighters:https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... 1-billion/
One could speculate can see Airbus wants in on the freighter market. Both for new production, but also to prop up resale values on older airframes and ensure a few more decades of ancillary services.
Note: I personally see an A338F market. IMHO, the A332based freighter didn't do well as one cannot carry freight and fill the belly tank for TATL range. So I am surprised not to see an A338F first, but obviously the market has spoken. An A350F would be far pricier, but with the A35K gear/wing/engines and a -900 length body, it opens the market.
The freight market is crowded with converters (. Look at all the converters (interesting link, in 4 parts):
Part 1: https://cargofacts.com/allposts/equipme ... y-arrived/
Note: Above Link predates launch of 777-300ERSF https://cargofacts.com/allposts/equipme ... f-program/
Because of a bad link in above:
Part 2: https://cargofacts.com/allposts/equipme ... on-houses/
Part 3: https://cargofacts.com/allposts/equipme ... -part-iii/
Part 4: https://cargofacts.com/allposts/equipme ... s-part-iv/
With the End of EFW's A300 conversion program, but good start of the A330 conversion program, seeing an A350F only makes sense to me.
I like the chart, but it misses the payload/range characteristics. Why I think the A332 based A330F didn't sell more than 41 in a market where the 767SF conversions show demand (as well as A333P2Fs).
Obviously not an issue for the rumored A350F.
The chart also notes the A350F (-900 or -1000) isn't competing in the 160kg/m^3 market (general cargo) but rather the 130kg/m^3 (intermediate, A350-900F) or 110kg/m^3 (Express/Amazon markets, A350-1000F). The general freight market will have to wait for a 778F or continue to buy current 777Fs without competition apparently, without knowing more of the details.
Winter is coming.