Air cargo traffic is set to bounce back after enduring a lean period in recent years. This was the main conclusion of Boeing’s latest biennial World Air Cargo Forecast, published at the October 7 International Air Cargo Forum and Exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. The airframer predicts that air freight traffic will increase at an annual rate of 4.7 percent over the next 20 years, and is expected to double in volume by 2033.
More than 1,000 delegates attending the March 11 to 13 IATA World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles heard a downbeat assessment of prospects for air freight from FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith and IATA chief economist Brian Pearce, both of whom talked of long-term structural challenges.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) hopes that testing the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is conducting will identify a limit for the number of lithium batteries that can be safely transported by cargo aircraft.
Users of the Air Charter Guide will notice a complete redesign of the publication, starting with the June edition. The worldwide guide to charter operators now appears alphabetically by country, rather than regionally. Maps within each section have undergone a redesign and a complete worldwide index of operators will make the information much easier for subscribers to navigate. The two-column format throughout, once reserved for Metro sections, makes the directory more readable.
Air cargo traffic declined in the U.S. and internationally in 2012, but forecasts call for gradual improvement in the coming years.
In its latest 20-year aerospace forecast, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said U.S. air carriers flew 36.4 billion revenue ton miles (RTMs) last year, down 2.4 percent from the previous year. The European debt crisis and China’s slowing economic growth affected international cargo RTMs, which declined by 3.6 percent to 24.3 billion. Domestic cargo RTMs remained essentially flat, increasing by 0.1 percent to 12 billion.
Following three in-flight fires on transport aircraft over the past six years, two of which cost four pilots their lives, the NTSB recommended last week that the FAA improve fire-protection regulations. “These recommendations involve improving early detection of fires originating within cargo containers and pallets,” the Board said in its letter to the FAA.
Continued weakness in cargo markets and stubbornly high fuel prices have convinced FedEx to retire 18 Airbus A310-200s and 26 related engines permanently, along with six Boeing MD-10-10s and 17 associated engines, the company announced last Monday.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the European Commission agreed on June 1 to recognize each other’s air cargo security regimes in what they described as an historic accord.
Pilot unions say they were outgunned by a cargo industry lobby that convinced the FAA to exclude air cargo operations from its new flightcrew member duty and rest requirements, a rule they vow to amend.
Emirates SkyCargo set a company record this past summer when it carried 52.87 metric tons of freight in the belly hold of one of its Boeing 777-300ERs on a flight from Karachi to Dubai. Indeed, the load, consisting mainly of dense perishable meat products and vegetable produce, marked a significant achievement for Emirates during a period of sagging fortunes in the air cargo business.
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