OAG Analytical Services, part of Official Airline Guide, has released its third annual OAG Global Air Freight Forecast which projects trends in airfreight demand and fleet for 2008-2017. ‘Amid soaring fuel prices and economic uncertainty, the projections for the next decade reveal some light at the end of the tunnel,’ says Tulinda Larsen, managing director OAG Analytical Services.
The global airfreight industry is wrestling with the same issues as the rest of aviation: a teetering global economy, increasing security regulations, skyrocketing fuel costs, changing currency exchange rates and environmental initiatives. The only good news, it seems, has been the liberalized air rights between China and European Union countries with the United States.
The 2008 OAG Global Air Freight Forecast reflects these underlying trends, with a return to an average annual growth rate of 5.6% by 2011 after a slowdown in the near term. Over the long term, OAG sees these underlying trends creating a growing demand for freighter aircraft.
The international airfreight market is expected to continue to flourish, with average annual growth of 6.1% during the 10-year forecast period from 2008 to 2017.
Security and green issues are expected to pull down demand for regional airfreight trade to 3.9% average annual growth.
The Middle East has emerged as the fastest growing region, pushing China to number three behind Africa in terms of growth rates. These emerging markets are posting impressive growth rates, but on a very small overall base level of airfreight traffic. The trade lane between North America and China remains the largest global market for airfreight.
Tulinda Larsen concluded, ‘Trade connecting to North America continues to dominate global air freight and other markets are feeling the impact of the US economic woes. The rising cost of operations will force the industry to make tough decisions that will impact airfreight capacity on a global level.’