According to Iata the global airfreight performance in the first half of this year was the best since 2017. It even looks as if the trend is set to continue. The conclusion? The logistics world needs a lot of new aeroplanes! ‘Preighters’ aren’t enough, nor are passenger units with parcels sitting in the seats, or those from which the seats have even been temporarily removed. MRO specialists that convert passenger planes into permanent freighters will thus also be in high demand. One of the latest major orders for the latter came from Bluebird Nordic. The Icelandic operator, whose fleet is made up of eight Boeing B737Fs, is set to take over no less than 25 B737-800Fs by the end of 2024.
This summer also brought news from the brand-new freighter segment. Airbus, for example, which practically left the maindeck field to Boeing up until now, is finally going ahead with plans to market a freighter version of its A350 from 2025; it will offer a payload of 90 t. Cargolux and Qatar Airways Cargo were the first to show interest; now the Volga-Dnepr Group has joined them. The Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut also conducted freighter discussions with the latter at the International Aviation and Aerospace Salon Maks 2021 in Zhukovsky, near Moscow (see page 27).
In other news, DHL Express has ordered twelve electric aeroplanes from the US-Israeli manufacturer Eviation; they’ll haul 1.2 t over 800 km from 2024 on.
There’s more electrifying news on the following pages of this ITJ!