At a meeting in Hong Kong, Airbus provided more detail about its predictions for the future of air cargo with the release of its Cargo Global Market Forecast 2013-2032 (GMF). Cargo Facts attended the Hong Kong event, and we will provide our own thoughts, and the thoughts of some of the people we spoke to, later this week, but first, here's what Airbus had to say:
In the GMF, Airbus predicts that the world’s fleet of freighter aircraft will grow to 2,905 units in 2032, up from a base year total of 1,645 units. According to Airbus, additions to the freighter fleet over the next twenty years will consist of 871 new production freighters (all widebody types) plus conversion of 1,859 used passenger aircraft (both widebody and narrowbody) to freighter configuration.
Regarding freighter requirements going forward, Airbus said that the “large size fits all” air cargo model “no longer works.” Rather it predicts the greatest demand will be for mid-size freighters, which it defines as aircraft with capacity from 30-to-80 tonnes. Production A330-200Fs and converted A330P-to-F units compete in this market segment, “filling a gap in the middle of the market.”
The assumptions behind the Airbus forecast: