11-Oct-2013 9:54 AM

Airbus forecasts growth in airfreight traffic and demand for mid-sized freighters by 2032

Airbus released (10-Oct-2013) its cargo global market forecast, predicting the world's freighter fleet will increase to 3000 aircraft and airfreight traffic will grow by 4.8% p/a over the next 20 years. Dedicated freighter aircraft are expected to remain "essential" and mid-sized aircraft will account for the largest proportion of freighters, with 1300 new aircraft required by 2032. The mid-size freighter fleet is expected to increase from 744 in 2012 to more than 1290 by 2032 and maintain its 45% share of the world freighter fleet, driven by growth in emerging markets, particularly China. The company forecast strong long-term traffic growth driven by positive trends in economic activity, with emerging countries to outpace developed economies. Air cargo demand will require 2700 new and converted aircraft by 2032, with more than half for fleet replacement. The company predicts demand for 870 factory-build freighters worth USD234 billion and 1860 conversions from passenger aircraft. A further 175 aircraft currently in service are forecast to be still operating in 2032. Usage of passenger aircraft belly-hold capacity is expected to remain largely unchanged, accounting for half of international commercial airfreight. Numbers of small freighter aircraft are expected to increase from 380 in 2012 to more than 600 by 2032, driven by growth in express freight markets in China and India. The overall proportion of small freighters in the world fleet is expected to decrease slightly. The fleet of large freighters is expected to reach more than 1000 by 2032 and slightly increase its share of the world fleet. Airbus VP head of freighters Andreas Hermann said, "Looking forward after a difficult few years, world trade is showing improvements and diverse emerging markets will call for increased flexibility in air cargo transportation – for which mid-size freighters will be the primary means to achieve this. This is why Airbus forecasts that the core of future freighter requirements will be in the mid-size category, where modern-technology freighters will play a large part in future fleet replacement and long term growth." [more - original PR]

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