Boeing has released its latest biennial World Air Cargo Forecast (WACF) in which it has predicted both a 60% expansion of the world’s freighter fleet and also a doubling of cargo traffic over the next 20 years. This equates to 2,800 converted and purpose-built aircraft through to 2041.
The American planemaker also sees strong demand for its 777-8 Freighter as carriers look to switch over to more fuel-efficient and sustainable jet aircraft. The company also predicts that of these 2,800 aircraft, approximately one third will be new jets and 66% will be conversions of existing planes, such as the 737-800 BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter).
Boeing sees the greatest increase in demand coming from the Asia-Pacific region which will see it’s share reach the 40% mark of new and converted freighters. Overall, taking into account replacement aircraft, it is forecast that the size of the global freighter fleet will reach 3,600 jets by 2041.
“While the air cargo market is returning to a more normal pace after historic demand in the last two years, structural factors including express network growth, evolving supply chain strategies and new cargo-market entrants are driving sustained freighter demand,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of Commercial Marketing. “In the global transportation network, air freighters will continue to be a critical enabler to move high-value goods, in increased volume across expanding markets.”