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Airbus ups forecast for new cargo aircraft to 2,800 units by 2038

EUROPEAN aircraft manufacturer Airbus forecasts the market will require 2,800 all-cargo aircraft over the next 20 years to meet growth in international trade and e-commerce, 400 more aircraft than it predicted in 2018

Airbus ups forecast for new cargo aircraft to 2,800 units by 2038

EUROPEAN aircraft manufacturer Airbus forecasts the market will require 2,800 all-cargo aircraft over the next 20 years to meet growth in international trade and e-commerce, 400 more aircraft than it predicted in 2018

22 September 2019 - 19:00

EUROPEAN aircraft manufacturer Airbus forecasts the market will require 2,800 all-cargo aircraft over the next 20 years to meet growth in international trade and e-commerce, 400 more aircraft than it predicted in 2018.

Airbus expects air cargo will double by 2038 based on a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 per cent, up from last year's CAGR estimate of 3.4 per cent. Belly cargo is predicted to increase at a faster rate than main-deck freight - by 4.3 per cent and 2.8 per cent per year, respectively. According to the report, 60 per cent of cargo will be loaded onto passenger aircraft by 2038.



Of the total dedicated freighters in service by then, Airbus now estimates that 2,500 would be newbuilds and converted passenger planes, with 60 per cent of those replacing existing aircraft and the remainder representing incremental growth. Conversions would account for most of the fleet activity, supplemented by 850 newly manufactured planes, reported New York's FreightWaves.



Most newbuild freighters - 500 - are forecast to be in the mid-size freighter category, where aircraft payload ranges from 40 to 80 tonnes. Another 356 newbuild aircraft will be needed in the large category with payloads above 80 tonnes.



The air freight market cooled off last year to four per cent growth and volumes have continued to drop throughout this year. That said, trade is still strong enough to support existing capacity. Airbus said that as of mid-2019, storage levels for freighters were at a historic low of six per cent. Only 30 aircraft were retired last year compared to the 10-year average of 108 aircraft per year.



The freighter fleet has grown for five years in a row to a record 1,800 aircraft.



Airbus predicts that the overall fleet would double to 47,680 aircraft in 20 years. It now estimates that 25,000 planes will handle new business, while 14,210 newbuilds will be replacements. That compares to 26,540 for growth reasons and 10,850 replacement aircraft in last year's forecast.


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