The American freighter aircraft market is expected to exhibit a growth rate of over 5% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- The American region, comprising of North and Latin America, exhibits a significant growth rate in terms of cargo traffic. In 2018, North America and Latin America exhibited a growth of 5.9% and 6%, respectively, in terms of freight-ton-kilometers. This growth is driving the demand for freighter aircraft in America.
- The recent COVID-19 outbreak weakened the economies in North and Latin America, and this is directly impacting the air cargo trade. However, the air cargo in North America is returning back to normal, as demand for essential commodities, such as food and medical supplies, is increasing. Thus, many freight airliners are using their aircraft at full utilization rate. The ongoing efforts to integrate the trade ecosystem between the Caribbean and Latin American nations are also expected to fuel the demand for freight aircraft in the future.
- Despite the fall in the international belly cargo capacity, the demand and prices for freighter aircraft is rising in the region. The International dedicated cargo capacity exhibited a growth rate of 6% in March 2020, and a major part of this growth comes from North America. In 2020, LATAM airlines increased its freighter frequencies and changed many routes to provide more cargo capacities, and this factor is expected to propel the freighter aircraft market in Latin America during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
The Derivative of Non-cargo Aircraft Segment Expected to Exhibit the Highest Growth Rate During the Forecast Period
The increase in air cargo transport and the recent COVID-19 outbreak propelled the demand for the passenger to freighter conversion aircraft. Since constraints have been implemented on cargo trade capacities in the region, major regional airlines, such as LATAM, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines, are using their fleet of Boeing 777 and 787 passenger aircraft to transport cargo to a domestic and international destination. Air Canada is reconfiguring three of its Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft for cargo transportation. International collaborations and innovations are also expected to fuel the market growth for the Derivative of Non-Cargo Aircraft segment during the forecast period. Elbe Flugzeugwerke, which is a joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering, will convert the retired A321 passenger aircraft to cargo freighters. The first flight of the new freighter aircraft is expected to take-off during late 2020 and after the EASA certification, the new model will be available for global use. Airbus is also developing a modification solution for A330 and A350 aircraft that will incorporate the direct installation of freight pallets on the cabin floor after the removal of economy seats. The aforementioned factors are driving the market growth for the derivative of non-cargo aircraft segment in the region.
The United States Expected to Exhibit Significant Growth in the Coming Years
The United States enjoyed healthy growth in traffic during the last decade, and in 2017, the total freight load reached 37 million metric ton, exhibiting a growth rate of 9.8%. To address the growing growth, many cargo airlines, such as Federal Express, are acquiring freighter aircraft and upgrading their existing fleet. In 2017, the Federal Express placed an order of 50 Cessna SkyCouriers for cargo transport service. The growing e-commerce is also propelling the growth in demand for freighter aircraft. In June 2020, Amazon announced its plan for the procurement of 12 Boeing 767-300 converted aircraft for freight transportation. The United States is severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and this is bringing the passenger air travel to a standstill. To maintain the flow of cash, many national airlines, such as United Airlines, are converting their passenger aircraft, especially wide-body aircraft, into cargo aircraft.
The freighter aircraft market in America is moderately fragmented. Some of the prominent players in the market are The Boeing Company, Airbus SE, and Textron Inc. The developments in freighter aircraft market are being propelled by the growth of foreign and domestic trade in the region. Key players are largely competing on the modification and conversion services for retired or less utilized passenger planes, and currently, this strategy is helping the market players in winning orders from freight and cargo airlines and transportation services.
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