Monday, May 14, 2018

Air Cargo Boeing's Fifth Dimension

Randy Tinseth Boeing VP: Randy's Blog

"To catch up with demand, operators are buying new jets, especially large Boeing freighters. In February, UPS ordered 14 more 747-8Fs along with four more 767Fs. In March, ANA purchased two 777Fs. This month, Qatar Airways signed a letter of intent to buy five more 777Fs. Over the past 24 months, we have sold nearly 80 freighters and there are more campaigns in the pipeline."

The main show has always been passenger aircraft sales and little is mentioned of the air cargo sales at an airshow. The fifth dimension is hard to get your arms around and science wrestles with the concept. Having said that Air Cargo is Aviation's fifth dimension. It hauls everything from capital equipment to computer chips full of data or programs. That sounds Fifth Dimensional when a postcard becomes air cargo and one's arms can't quite get around it for its business case. 

 The Fifth Dimension

However, Boeing has recognized building freight value into its production business model.

The 747-8F has brought the topic to the front page and the 767-300F lurks at almost every airport in the land that delivers FedEx or UPS packages. Airbus failed to make its A380 Freight business case and canceled the concept. Now it has no A-380 and the A330-200F is its main freight hope. Most A330-200F are converted from retired passenger A-330's. All in All, Airbus has unraveled from the Fifth Dimension's, Air Cargo Business.

Randy Tinseth has spent a considerable amount of space on the topic on his blog, Randy's Blog. Boeing is selling a significant amount of cargo airframes including the 777 frame. The above quote from the article does not get into the details as his blog does but its safe to say, Air cargo is on a steady expansion of about 5-6 percent a year and Boeing has positioned itself to meet this steady climb. It has braced for the Fifth Dimension of Air cargo.

An earlier Winging IT blog piece "A Pound of Feathers or Pound of Gold" discussed why older frames make for a great value as a freighter. Randy's blog answers that question as older frames can handle the Fifth Dimension freight business better than the latest technological offerings except for the 747-8F. Its massive freight hauling capability is flanked by older 747-400's which are predominantly in service.

The final idea is reading Randy's blog at the provided links and give pause to the fifth dimension of aviation's marketplace at the next airshow.