Air cargo demand trends will have a significant influence on any future narrowbody freighter requirements. IBA recently launched a freighter advisory and project management service for investors, lessors and operators. IBA has provided Aircraft Commerce with cargo demand data for the past 10 years. This shows that the total cargo carried by air, expressed in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), was increasing year-on-year before the global economic downturn. From 2006 to 2007, global FTKs grew by just under 5%. The global recession led to two consecutive years of contraction in 2008 and 2009, followed by a return to growth in 2010. Another slowdown occurred in 2011 and 2012 with total FTKs in decline, before the market returned to growth in 2013.
“Air freight demand is driven by global economic and trade growth,” says Moshe Haimovich, head of freighter/P2F cargo conversion advisory services at IBA. “Before the economic downturn, air freight was growing at a rate of 6% per year, twice the rate of global gross domestic product (GDP). Today aircraft manufacturers and industry experts agree that the long-term growth rate is more likely to be 3-4% per year, which is in line with world trade growth.”
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