According to Boeing, over the next 20 years, world air cargo traffic will grow 4.2% per year. A driving factor in his growth is e-commerce, along with expanding markets in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The fleet of cargo carriers is projected to expand by 70% by 2035, with 2,370 new freighters added. These aircraft will operate differently from passenger operations.
Meanwhile, the ALPA has forecasted an alternate take on events. In 2016, air cargo suffered from reduced yields and slow growth, below trend expectations. Both world trade and air freight suffer from shrinking growth, with trade growing at a rate of 3% a year. While Widebody aircraft have allowed greater carrying capacity, yields fell between 5 and 6% after January of that year. In the long term, however, the air cargo industry is projected to recapture its momentum, and has demonstrated overall growth from 1970 to 2015.
- Utilization of less well equipped airfields
- Operations at low traffic hours i.e. very late or at night (with associated noise issues)
- Operations at higher and lower average take-off gross weights
- Earlier structural failure (less concern for ride quality resulting in greater exposure to structural stress during turbulence)
- Aircraft older than passenger-carrying aircraft (aircraft operate for a full “second” life after cargo conversion)
- Load shifts
- Mismanagement of hazardous materials
2017-08-28 (link to 262 to be added)