Freight markets are on fire now

Boeing’s senior management highlighted the importance that cargo now plays in the aerospace industry, almost two years after travel virtually ceased due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Freight markets are on fire right now. This is where we see real growth, ”Boeing executive vice president Stan Deal told CNBC’s Dan Murphy at the Dubai Air Show on Sunday.

The company announced plans to add three conversion lines to its 737-800BCF in North America and Europe. These are businesses that are converting planes into freighters and will be located at KF Aerospace in Canada and London’s Gatwick.

Deal’s comments came a day after Boeing said it was in preliminary negotiations for the sale. cargo version of the future liner 777X… Ihssane Munir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing at Boeing, told Reuters on Saturday that this is “being discussed quite actively with a number of customers.”

“The [777X freighter] looks good in terms of design and requirements. “

A worker checks cargo in the cargo hold of a Boeing Co 777-300ER passenger aircraft operated by Air France-KLM before flying to Los Angeles, USA, at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy, France, Monday, May 10, 2021.

Nathan Lane | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Before the pandemic, a significant amount of cargo was transported in the belly of passenger aircraft. But after those planes were stopped as a result of travel restrictions, the industry focused instead on specialized cargo aircraft.

Many airlines have noted high freight volumes amid the pandemic. Indeed, according to Emirates Airline’s latest half-year profit, freight traffic increased 39%, almost reaching 2019 levels.

Recovery from a pandemic

More broadly, Deal added Sunday that Boeing expects new orders by the end of the year.

“Well, we’ve had a good year so far. This year we received about 309 new orders net, 720 gross. This is a pretty good start. And these discussions continue at this air show. It’s not over yet, we expect more. orders before the end of the year. And this will last until 2022, ”he said. Boeing has booked over 700 orders. in the period from 2014 to 2018.

“[2022] will be about growth. It is about continuing production on our narrow body, the 737 Max, in the wide body market, we will still see some continued recovery as international markets recover, ”he added.

Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Deal said Boeing continues to monitor vaccination rates globally.

“We see this as the key to recovery. If you’ve watched every home market recover, it does pretty well with vaccine vaccination rates. And now there is talk of a third vaccine that people around the world are using, ”he said. … “So I think we will see further vaccine diffusion that will give impetus and build public confidence in recovery.”

—Dan Murphy of CNBC contributed to this article.

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