Air freight traffic is expected to almost triple over the next 20 years, leading to a nearly doubling of the world-wide cargo aircraft fleet, according to the just-completed Airbus 2010-2030 Cargo Global Market Forecast.
It estimates that this will create demand for about 834 new aircraft with the largest market segment being mid-sized freighters like the Airbus A330-200F.
The study found that a key factor in air freight trends will be the world’s emerging regions, requiring aircraft with intercontinental range and payload lift capabilities from 30 to 80 tonnes.
“Air cargo’s development is being driven by these emerging regions, where population migration and middle class growth creates the demand for food and other perishables,” said Airbus senior vice president Christopher Emerson at the Dubai Airshow. “The operational requirement is to carry this type of cargo over longer-range routes of approximately 4,500 nautical miles in order to reach the population areas.”