ACMG predicts hopeful future

SEATTLE-based the Air Cargo Management Group (ACMG) has just released the 2009 edition of its annual Twenty-Year Freighter Aircraft Forecast. This year’s report contains two different forecasts in recognition of the ongoing global recession and its dramatic impact on demand for airfreight services.

According to ACMG’s managing director, Robert Dahl:  “[Our] baseline assumption is that the current downturn will prove to be a short-lived event in the context of a 20-year forecast. If this optimistic view comes to pass, then GDP growth will average three to 3.5 per cent per year, and we can expect airfreight growth to average six per cent per year over the long term, close to the historic trend.”

“Given concern about the current global economic meltdown,” Dahl added, “ACMG has also developed a 20-year freighter forecast based on a ‘low-growth’ scenario, which assumes growth in airfreight demand will average three to four per cent per year going forward, roughly half the historic rate.” Under this scenario the fleet total will grow to a much more modest 2,624 units in 2028, and about 2,300 freighters will be needed for growth and replacement needs.

Finally, ACMG has considered a worst-case scenario, which assumes zero growth in airfreight demand over the next five years, which would happen if, for example, airfreight demand declines five per cent in 2009 and in 2010, followed by year-over-year increases of three to four per cent between 2011 and 2013.

“If that comes to pass,” said Dahl, “the absolute traffic level in 2010 would be lower than the level in 2004 and 2013 traffic would be equal to 2006 – not a pretty picture.”

Under this scenario, ACMG forecasts the freighter fleet in 2013 would equal roughly 1,550 units, down 130 from the current total.

The global freighter fleet at the beginning of 2009 is already down about six per cent from the total one year ago.

For more information on ACMG’s report visit

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