Boeing Forecasts 2,430 More Freighters Needed By 2039


Global freight operators will need approximately 2,430 additional aircraft over the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s biennial World Air Cargo Forecast (WACF). The company projects that the demand for additional aircraft will include 930 new freighters and 1,500 converted passenger aircraft. Boeing says the forecast was designed to reflect the “impacts and opportunities” created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic along with long-term freighter demand.

“Freighter operators have been in a unique position in 2020 to meet market requirements for speed, reliability and security, transporting medical supplies and other goods for people and communities around the world,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of commercial marketing. “Looking ahead, dedicated freighters will be even more critical to compete in air cargo markets; they carry more than half of air cargo traffic, and airlines operating them earn nearly 90% of air cargo industry revenue.”

The WACF (PDF), which was released on Tuesday, forecasts a 4 percent growth in world air cargo traffic over the next two decades. The report noted that approximately 200 airlines have used more than 2,000 passenger widebody aircraft for cargo-only operations so far in 2020. The forecast also stated that, as of September, express carrier traffic has increased 14 percent this year and traffic for all-cargo carriers saw a six percent increase over the same time period.

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Kate O’Connor works as a senior editor at AVweb. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.