Air cargo to grow 4 percent yearly until 2039, according to Boeing

Domestic China and intra-East Asia and Oceania markets are expected to expand 5.8 percent and 4.9 percent per year, respectively.

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Boeing predicts world air cargo traffic to grow at 4 percent per year over the next 20 years, influenced by trade and growing express shipments to support e-commerce, according to its newest forecast.

The report said Asia will continue to lead the world in average annual air cargo growth, with domestic China and intra-East Asia and Oceania markets expanding 5.8 percent and 4.9 percent per year, respectively.

The East Asia–North America and Europe–East Asia markets will grow slightly faster than the world average, fuelled by faster growing economies and growing middle classes.

Boeing forecasts demand for freighters to grow more than 60 percent to 2,430 cargo planes over the next 20 years. This would include 930 new production freighters and 1,500 freighters converted from passenger airplanes.

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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,” said Darren Hulst, vice president of commercial marketing.

So far in 2020, belly cargo, which accounted for about half of the world air cargo capacity, was significantly reduced when airlines parked thousands of planes.

Freighter operators responded by operating above normal utilisation levels, whilst passenger airlines used widebody aircraft for cargo-only operations to generate cash flow and support global supply chain.

Passenger freighters have taken up some of the capacity shortfall and, in some cases, generated quarterly profits for carriers despite minimal passenger operations.

The full cargo market forecast can be found at

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