Boeing upbeat on air cargo growth

Boeing 777 Freighter

Boeing 777 Freighter :the next big thing

The global air freight market will continue to experience strong long-term growth, aircraft manufacturer Boeing has projected in its Current Market Outlook 2008.

According to the report, based on a 20-year forecast period, the sector is expected to expand at an annual average of 5.8 per cent with the world freighter fleet significantly increasing from 1,948 to 3,892 jets.

The growth needs to be supported by an additional 3,358 cargo jets by 2027, factoring in an anticipated fleet retirement of 1,414 airplanes.

“The forecast is based on a number of factors, most significantly economic growth in diverse areas of the world,” said Jim Edgar, regional director of cargo marketing for Asia.

“Over the long-term, global economic growth will drive demand for new, high-value products as well as seasonal perishables that people have become accustomed to enjoying.”

A major portion of the new fleet is expected to be taken up by around 2,500 converted aircraft. 863 new production freighters, with a value of around USD 206 billion, will also be a part of the fleet growth. Demand for new production equipment will revolve around fuel-efficiency and meeting environmental regulations, including emissions and noise.

Among major changes projected is the dominance of the demand for widebody freighters with payloads of 36.3 to 72.6 tonnes, accounting for 60 per cent of the fleet additions. Similarly, large freighters will increase their fleet share from the current 61 per cent to 65 per cent in 2027. 

“We expect several trends to continue – dedicated freighters will continue to provide an increasing proportion of air cargo capacity, going to nearly 54 per cent; and the industry will continue to move to larger aircraft,” Mr Edgar said.

“Additionally, freighters will continue to comprise about 10 per cent of the world jetliner fleet during the forecast period.”

Over the past three consecutive years, Boeing has booked record numbers of new freighter production orders, a total of 236 aircraft, dominated by the company’s new 777F and 747-8F models.

The Current Market Outlook report is available at

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