Airframers see huge ongoing market for freighters

Optimism is not so difficult an attitude these days – at least not when the cargo front is looking better all the time. In a recent television interview Lufthansa’s Chief Financial Officer Stephan Gemkow commented: “The cargo business is currently absolutely booming. For the first time in over 10 years we are seeing not just […]


Optimism is not so difficult an attitude these days – at least not when the cargo front is looking better all the time. In a recent television interview Lufthansa’s Chief Financial Officer Stephan Gemkow commented: “The cargo business is currently absolutely booming. For the first time in over 10 years we are seeing not just strong imports out of China, but also strong exports to China. And when he was asked about the immediate future, Gemkow said: “As far as a CFO can be optimistic, I am optimistic.”

This was clearly not the case a few months ago. Indeed it was a seemingly odd phenomenon to watch as air cargo tonnages dwindled almost every day with no end in sight, aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus were busy buildingnew widebody freighters: The A330-200F, B747-8F and B777F. While Boeing’s B777Fmade its appearance in 2009, the firstA330-200F was handed over to EtihadCrystal Cargo in July. As for the B747-8F, Boeing has admitted there is a “veryhigh probability”, that first deliveries ofthe B747-8 freighter to launch customerCargolux, would slip into 2011.

But the good news is that with the improvement in the world economy, cargo capacity has changed the outlook for production of larger freighters.