Return To 2007 Levels Seen By The End Of The Year
World air cargo traffic will expand at a 5.9 percent annual rate
over the next two decades, with worldwide air freight traffic
expected to triple through 2029, according to the Boeing World Air
Cargo Forecast 2010/2011. Boeing released the biennial forecast,
which is widely cited by airlines and industry groups, at the
International Air Cargo Forum and Exhibition 2010 in Amsterdam.
Air cargo traffic rebounded strongly beginning in November 2009
and continuing through the first eight months of 2010. As a result,
world air cargo traffic is expected to regain its 2007 peak by the
end of this year. "Economic activity – world gross domestic
product – is the key driver of the air cargo market," said
Jerry Allyne, vice president, Strategic Planning and Analysis,
Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Following the recession and a year of
recovery, world economic growth is forecast to average 3.2 percent
over the next two decades."
The 2008-2009 period marked the first time that air cargo
traffic contracted for two consecutive years. The decline affected
nearly all geographic markets, but markets connected to industrial
freight flows generally fared worse than markets less dependent on
these flows. The nearly 13 percent drop in cargo traffic in
2008-2009 reflected the steep plunge in industrial activity
attendant to the global economic downturn. In August 2009,
industrial activity began to recover, particularly in Asia. Monthly
air cargo traffic statistics turned positive in November 2009, and
the first eight months of 2010 have seen an estimated 24 percent
growth in traffic, compared to the same period in 2009.
World air cargo traffic is on pace to regain the peak it reached
in 2007 by the end of this year. In addition to the strong economic
rebound, anecdotal evidence suggests that many industrial shippers
have turned to air cargo in response to the overcorrection that
constrained capacity in other modes of transport, particularly
container ships. "Industrial requirements are driving the rebound,
as air cargo is an essential tool for industry and commerce to
manage supply chains and bring goods to market," said Allyne. "As
airlines return to profitability, they will begin to consider fleet
renewal to improve long-term operating costs."
In addition to world economic growth, Asian production
fundamentals remain solid and continued growth in China will have
positive market effects, as will fewer barriers to international
air trade. Asian air cargo market growth will continue to lead all
global traffic routes. Domestic Chinese and intra-Asian markets
will grow 9.2 percent and 7.9 percent per year, respectively.
Asia-related markets will grow faster than the global average.
Boeing research indicates the world freighter fleet will
increase to 2,967 airplanes from 1,755 during the 20-year period,
with large freighters – such as the Boeing 747 and 777
– ultimately representing 33 percent of the fleet, compared
to 27 percent today.
Freighter demand will be met by 743 new factory-built airplanes
and 1,751 conversions from passenger and passenger-freighter
combination airplanes, with a total estimated value of $180 billion
in current US dollars. Conversions will account for about 70
percent of total demand.
Boeing provides the most complete and efficient freighter
product line, including new production freighters and
passenger-to-freighter conversions, teaming with industry leaders
to provide innovative conversion solutions to match virtually any
air cargo requirement.