MIAMI – Boeing yesterday released the World Air Cargo Forecast, valid from 2020 to 2039. This document contains analysis, forecasts, and growth of the cargo industry.

747-8F First Flight Photo: Boeing

The Pandemic Has Slowed the Cargo Market


With the COVID-19 crisis, the decline in industrial production, and the increase of some tariffs, freight traffic in 2019 had a decline of 3%. Even long-haul wide-body aircraft experienced a drastic decline as the passenger-aircraft used for cargo accounts for 54% of the cargo capacity of a long-haul aircraft.

Market trend. Photo: Boeing

The need to meet the demands of medical transport for supplies to all states has created an unprecedented environment. With these market conditions, the cargo operators were the only ones to meet the demands. How to satisfy the requests? You have to be fast, reliable and safe, as only air transport can.

The companies that have benefited most in this situation are those that operate on long-haul routes. Because? Simple, they have a larger cargo volume than a narrow body aircraft. Over 200 airlines operating over 2,500 wide-body aircraft increased profits even though passenger demand was at an all-time low.

Constrained Cargo Capacity Is Driving Higher Yields and Revenue. Souce: IATA-BOEING

Until September 2020, freight traffic fell by 12%, with a quarter of air cargo lost. As a result of the constrained air cargo capacity, yields were up over 40% and overall air cargo industry revenues were up 16%.

As for wide-body passenger traffic, it will take years for its return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

777F FED#936-WF055 1st of the seven a month production rate

Global Air Market


Asia will continue to dominate the air cargo market, with the China, East Asia, and Oceania markets expanding 5.8% and 4.9% for the year. As such, East Asia – North America and Europe – East Asia markets will grow slightly faster than the world average.

Asia lead the market. Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 747-8 Freighter, photographed on its first flight in March 2010, was the first Boeing liveried aircraft to use the new dash number on the tail. It uses a simplified “swoop” cheatline, first seen on some 787s in the test program. (Credits: Boeing)