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Single aisle please

Jon Whaley, IBA’s Freight Analyst, explores the fleet composition, market share and growth opportunities for the P2F market and analyses what the narrowbody freighter landscape will look like in 2037

Where are the growth opportunities?

Accounting for Boeing 737, Boeing 757 and MD-80 family freighters, the current number of in-service freighters totals circa 620 aircraft. Both Airbus and Boeing have released their 2018-37 market forecasts. Airbus forecast that there will be a requirement for approximately 950 narrowbody or mid-size payload freighter aircraft, which Airbus classify as being up to 40 tonnes, 480 of which are aircraft to be converted. Boeing forecasts a slightly larger increase in narrowbody freighters between 2018 and 2037, with 1,280 aircraft forecast to be in service by 2037.

It is IBA’s opinion that by December 2037 the number of narrowbody freighter aircraft will increase to 1,086 aircraft. Much of the future freighter fleet will be located in Asia-Pacific and North America, with Asia-Pacific seeing the largest growth.


What will the narrowbody fleet composition be in 2037?

The composition of the fleet will be significantly different in 2037 compared to how it is today. Currently the narrowbody market is dominated by Boeing types, with a small amount of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family aircraft being used as freighters. Going forward, Boeing will maintain its position as being the dominant player within the narrowbody freighter market as the number of Boeing 737NGs, predominantly 737-800s, increases over the period. Additionally, there will be interest in the 737-700, though not to the extent of the 737-800.

There will also be a substantial Boeing 757-200 freighter fleet for several years as we are still seeing conversions occurring for some aircraft, whilst some of the older converted 757-200 are being retired. There will be a gradual decline in the number of converted Boeing 737 Classics in freighter service as the years progress due to the age of the aircraft. The Airbus A320 Family aircraft will also occupy a portion of the market, however it is expected that the Airbus A321P2F will be the more popular choice. >>

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