By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja, – Boeing, world’s leading aircraft manufacturer, has projected that global air cargo traffic is expected to double over the next 20 years.
Boeing disclosed this in its New World Air Cargo Forecast, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja.
The forecast projected demand for 2,650 freighters over the next two decades with 4.2 per cent air cargo traffic growth annually.
According to the report, the 980 new medium and large freighters and 1,670 converted freighters will go toward replacing older airplanes and growing the global fleet to meet demand.
It added that a growing express market in China and global rise of e-commerce, forecast to increase 20 per cent annually to nearly 5 trillion dollars in 2021, were some of the growth factors.
“To meet growing market needs, Boeing also forecasts, the world freighter fleet will expand by more than 70 per cent, from the current total of 1,870 to 3,260 airplanes.
“Boeing projects new production freighter deliveries valued at 280 billion dollars.
“Demand for regional express services in fast-developing economies will boost the standard-body share of the freighter fleet from 37 per cent today to 39 per cent.
“The 1,170 standard body and 500 medium wide-body passenger airplanes will be converted into freighters over the next two decades.
“Dedicated freighters, which provide unique capability that passenger belly-cargo cannot match, will continue to carry more than 50 per cent of the world’s air cargo demand.
“The majority will be in the large wide body freighter category, such as the 747-8 Freighter and 777 Freighters,’’ Boeing forecast said.
Darren Hulst, Managing Director, Market Analysis and Sales Support, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the air cargo market would continue to be a major element of commercial aviation growth story.
Hulst said the new forecast indicated strong long-term air cargo trends, which coincided with the market recovery being witnessed over the last few years across Europe, North America, and Asia.
“With 90 per cent share of the freighter market, Boeing is well positioned to capture this growth.
“We have invested in our freighter family to help express cargo and general freight operators carry out their missions around the world.
“Whether it’s our 777 Freighter or our 737-800BCF program, Boeing offers the most capable family of freighters with the best combination of payload, range and fuel efficiency.
“Since January 2017, Boeing has sold 128 freighters, including 80 production and 48 converted freighters,’’ Hulst said.