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Speaking at yesterday’s ACMG Workshop session during the Bob Dahl, ACMG managing director, speaking at the recent Cargo Facts Aircraft Symposium in Miami, discussed the group’s annual 20-Year Freighter Forecast and predicted that roughly 2,000 to 3,000 freighter aircraft will be needed between now and 2033. The estimate was based on the expected global freight-tonne kilometer (FTK) growth rate of between 3 percent and 5 percent over the 20-year period, thanks to a strengthening global economy, resulting in a rise in world trade. ACMG also assumed an industry-wide 1 percent annual productivity gain through increased freighter size, load factor and utilization would reduce the growth rate. Dahl told the packed workshop audience that, following a 10-year decline in freighters during a period of consolidation in the express business, weak international air cargo demand and a “churning of the fleet,” resulting in the retirement of several aging aircraft models (DC-8s, DC-9s, DC-10s, 707s, 727-100s, 747-Classics and A300B4s), freighter demand will rebound to an average of 4 percent annual growth through 2033. Assuming a high-end FTK growth rate of 5 percent, ACMG predicts that the industry’s current fleet of 1,558 freighters will double in size over the next 20 years to reach 3,370 total units.
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