Boeing: Nose loading option not in demand

Source: Air Cargo News

Boeing did not find nose loading capabilities were in high demand when developing its future widebody freighter. 

Speaking at the TIACA World Cargo Symposium last week, Boeing regional director of marketing Tom Hoang said that the company had held a series of customer working groups during the  development of its new Boeing 777-8 freighter. 

According to Hoang, demand for nose-loading capabilities was not high on the list of requirements from within the working groups.

“For some airlines, it’s more important, but overall it’s a relatively small market for outsize cargo that really requires the nose loader,” he said.

Qatar Airways’ vice president of cargo network planning and strategic partnerships Elodie Berthonneau added that only around 1-2% of the cargo flown by the airline requires nose loading.

“The value of [having nose-loading capabilities] does not justify the cost,” she said.

This view was echoed by Lufthansa Cargo head of network management Georg Theis who added that the door on a Boeing 777 was quite large anyway.

Hoang said that there were also still plenty of aircraft with nose-loading capability in the market to satisfy demand over the coming years.

He said that there were around 140 nose loading Boeing 747-400s still in service with of an average age of 20 years. These aircraft would be around for the next 10 years he said.

Meanwhile, Boeing delivered just over 105 nose loading 747-8Fs with an average age of seven years. These would be in the market for a further 20 years, he said.

There are also AN-124 aircraft in the market, although these are generally more than 30 years old, and Airbus recently made its A300-600ST Beluga fleet available to the commercial market.

Airbus is also developing a new widebody freighter – the A350F – which also does not have a nose loading option.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]