Aviation industry leaders gathered in San Diego last week at Cargo Facts’ annual symposium to share insights and analyses on developing market trends while providing an outlook on the air cargo industry
CEO Michael Steen took the stage for the opening panel session, “The global freighter market: Where is air cargo headed in 2024 and beyond?” The panel provided a glimpse into market trends and the growth potential of the freighter market worldwide.
Michael got the opportunity to open and close the panel and touched on topics regarding the status and outlook of the global freighter fleet as well as Atlas’ fleet strategy and continued customer diversification.
Regarding widebody capacity, Michael offered, “There are approximately 650 widebody freighters in the world today and approximately 125 of them are older than 30 years. This includes MD-11Fs and some of the earlier 747-400 production and converted freighters. We will consequently see a large number of retirements over the next five years, which is something we haven’t seen for two decades. This will coincide with a continued growth in airfreight demand and the planned new production and conversion capacity coming into the market will not be enough to fill the gap.”
Other speakers on the panel included Andres Bianchi, Chief Executive Officer, LATAM Cargo; Fatih Cıgal, Senior Vice President of Cargo Marketing, Turkish Airlines; Richard Corrado, Chief Executive Officer, ATSG; and Diogo Elias, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Avianca Cargo.
Later in the morning, Eamonn Forbes, Chief Commercial Officer of Titan Aviation Leasing, participated on the panel, “Freighter leasing: Implications of the growing order backlog.”
Eamonn was joined by Pablo Aguirre, Chief Commercial Officer, Nexus Aviation Ventures and Shelley Raina Talwar, Vice President of Airline Strategy and Analysis, Avolon. The group discussed building momentum on the new generation of freighters, investing in and becoming early adopters of new programs, and provided an update on capital costs and their implications for the lessor community.
When discussing if Titan would potentially invest in A321 freighters and add more 737-800Fs to its portfolio, Eamonn said, “We’re generally open to it. We aren’t actively converting narrowbodies right now; we see probably a little bit of oversupply at the moment so we’re not rushing into it, but I think down the line we’ll be having more 737-800s, whether they be Boeing, AEI or IAI. And certainly on the A321, I would see us playing in that market down the line as well.”