Airbus expects a sustained demand for freighters over the next 20 years with nearly 70% of the current fleet anticipated to be replaced. According to the airframer’s 2022 Global Market Forecast (GMF) for the 2022-2041 period, the world freighter fleet in service will reach 3,070 aircraft by 2041.
The new report, published on July 8, anticipates that there will be demand for 2,440 new-build or converted freighters over the next 20 years, with nearly 900 new-build freighters expected.
Of this expected freighter demand over 2022-2041, 990 will be 10-40 tonne single-aisle aircraft, 890 will be 40-80 tonne mid-sized widebody aircraft and 560 will be 80 tonnes large widebody aircraft. 2,030 aircraft were in service at the beginning of 2020. Of this number, 31% will stay in service (including 2020 & 2021 deliveries), while 69% will be replaced.
Express air cargo is predicted to outpace general air cargo. The airframer said that in 2019, express air cargo made up 17% of the airfreight market, while general air cargo encompassed 83%. But by 2041, express air cargo, boosted by e-commerce is expected to climb to comprise 25% of the market.
Airbus expects world air cargo traffic growth of 3.2% CAGR from 2019-2041. The positive expectation of freighter demand over the coming years comes as Airbus recently announced the development of a new large widebody freighter model – the A350F.