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-Boeing forecasts 5.2% annual air cargo growth over the next 20 years.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2012 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

U.S. airframer Boeing (NYSE: BA) said that the global air cargo market will expand at a 5.2% annual rate over the next 20 years.

According to the Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast 2012/2013, growth will be driven by world gross domestic product that will nearly double over the forecast period. Trade is expected to increase through liberalization of markets and more efficient aircraft and infrastructure improvements will reduce the cost of air cargo.

Boeing released the biennial forecast at the International Air Cargo Forum and Exhibition 2012 in Atlanta.

According to Boeing, Air cargo traffic will grow over the long term despite current near-term market weakness and worldwide economic uncertainty. The industry languished following the 2010 recovery posting slight declines in traffic in 2011 and thus far in 2012.

Boeing forecasts the world freighter fleet will increase to 3,198 airplanes from 1,738 by 2031. Large freighters such as the Boeing 747 and 777 will represent 36 % of the fleet, compared to 31 % TODAY. The significant efficiency and capability advantages of large freighters will enable carriers to manage projected traffic growth without increasing the number of airplanes proportionately.

Freighter demand will be met by 935 new factory-built airplanes, valued at USD 250 b, with 1,820 freighters coming from passenger-to-freighter conversions. Conversions will account for about 66 % of total demand.

Markets connecting Asia-Pacific will lead the industry in growth, with domestic China and intra-Asia traffic experiencing the highest percentge traffic growth, at 8% and 6.9%, respectively, over the 20-year forecast period. North America-Asia, Europe-South Asia, Europe-Asia, and Europe-Middle East also will be above the world average.

Fuel costs are expected to be volatile, but are not anticipated to move significantly higher than current levels. Additionally, shippers of such cargo as perishables and very high value commodities will continue to find value in the speed of air cargo.

Boeing provides the most complete and efficient freighter product line, including new production freighters and passenger-to-freighter conversions, teaming with industry leaders to provide innovative conversion solutions to match virtually any air cargo requirement.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Oct 4, 2012
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