May 26 - According to Air Cargo Management Group's (ACMG) freighter forecast for 2015, the airfreight market will need around 125 new freighters per year to meet growth and replacement needs over the next 20 years.
This figure represents a significant rise compared with the 95 freighters per year added from 1990-2014.
Even under an extreme case of there being no growth in air cargo demand over the next 20 years, there would still be the need for about 60 additional freighters per year just to offset the capacity of aircraft retiring from the existing fleet, said ACMG.
"Some vigour returned to the airfreight market last year, and that has only continued this year," said Robert Dahl, managing director of ACMG and one of the forecast's authors. "When looking over the long term, the outlook for freighters is healthy."
The freighter aircraft market has undergone a period of significant change since 2000, explained ACMG, with global airfreight demand experiencing an unprecedented level of volatility and three of the worst years ever in terms of airfreight traffic declines.
The jet freighter fleet reached around 1,609 units at the beginning of 2015, and the ACMG forecast calls for the fleet to grow to 2,887 units by 2034.
"Despite challenges facing the freighter market in the post-recession period, there continue to be new developments that will have an impact on the market going forward," said Dahl. "The news on the freighter front over the past year was a mix of good and bad, with most of the good news coming in the narrowbody sector."