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The past year ended with a whimper for wide-body cargo aircraft, with two pure freighter outfits, Cargoitalia and Jade Cargo, exiting the market. Combination carriers were also bracing for rough skies ahead. Cathay Pacific deferred delivery of two of the six B747-8Fs due this year to 2013, and EVA decided to sell two, if not three, of its MD-11 freighters.
Industry analysts and carrier executives alike expect further casualties among freighter operators. "There will be some exits. Operators will decide no longer to invest in cargo aircraft," predicted Robert Song, vice president, Asia Pacific, at AirBridgeCargo Airlines.
Dirk Steiger, managing director of air cargo research and consulting firm Aviainform, echoed Song's sentiments. "Is an all-cargo airline with five, six or 10 planes still able to survive in the international market without a parent company that can leverage fuel costs and other elements? I doubt it," he said.
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