Long-term prospects for air cargo remain uncertain - Oleg Sergeev

What will be the balance of supply and demand in the air cargo market with one hundred percent accuracy no one will say now. However, based on the available facts, we can assume what should be expected in the next 3-4 years and what the market will be like in 10 years.

As an aviation expert, I will allow myself to reflect on this topic. The accelerated growth of e-commerce over the past year is likely to stimulate an increase in air cargo transportation, as the need to transport various goods will increase. I suppose that in the short term, one can expect an increase in freight traffic by 2-4% per year due to Internet trading.

Loading cargo onto the plane at the airport
Loading cargo onto the plane at the airport

In the medium term, capacity constraints in the sector are likely to remain. As for long-term forecasts, things are more complicated with them. As soon as the industry returns to normal, and this can happen in the same 3-6 years, the capacity will be determined by the passenger traffic. It is possible that the growth of passenger traffic will significantly outstrip the demand for air cargo transportation. At the same time, the number of passengers may increase on routes that do not correspond to the demand for cargo and the supply from carriers will outstrip demand.

The capacity constraints in the industry may persist for the next 3-4 years as well as for the next 7-10 years. The only thing we can say for sure is that the pandemic has made significant adjustments to the aviation industry.

If the price of oil remains low over the next five to ten years, as predicted, then old aircraft, including cargo aircraft, will remain in service. This is a good prospect for air freight carriers, I'm sure. This means that the ZetAvia fleet, consisting of specialized cargo aircraft Il-76T and Il-76TD, will continue to be in demand for the transportation of goods to the countries of the Middle East, Europe, CIS, Africa and South America.

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