IATA slashes Asia-Pacific air freight growth forecast
Slow markets around the world are beginning to have a major impact on the air freight industry.
The effects have caused slow air freight volumes in the Asia-Pacific region, which has cut growth projections in the industry. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently lowered their growth projection for the region in 2011 from 5.5 percent to 1.4 percent.
What’s also troubling is that air freight carriers are expected to transport 46.4 million tons of cargo in 2011, down from the 48.2 million tons IATA expected. Most industry experts don’t expect air freight to recover until the end of this year.
A recovery at the end of 2011 is expected, which indicates why the IATA is expecting worldwide air freight to grow by 4.2 percent in 2012.
Still, there are tough roads for the industry ahead.
“Airlines are competing in a very tough environment, and 2012 will be even more difficult,” IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler said.
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Though air freight volumes are down, all hope is not lost. Latin America posted very strong freight numbers, and the region is projected to profit $600 million this year. That’s $500 million more than the IATA estimated in June.
Also, IATA increased its industry profit forecast from $4 billion to $6.9 billion.
“Airlines are going to make a little more money in 2011 than we thought,” Tyler said. “That is good news. Given the strong headwinds of high oil prices and economic uncertainty, remaining in the black is a great achievement, but we should keep the improvement in perspective.”
DHL Express Invests in Electric Cargo Plane Fleet
DHL Express has ordered 12 fully electric cargo planes to supercharge efforts in reducing carbon emissions across its US delivery network.
The Alice eCargo planes are manufactured by Seattle startup Eviation, and are designed specifically to be configured for either cargo or passengers. The first planes are expected to be delivered to DHL Express in 2024.
“We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation,” said John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express.
The purchase forms part of DHL’s €7bn investment in reducing CO2 emissions by 2030, with a zero emissions target set for 2050.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” Pearson added. “On our way to clean logistics operations, the electrification of every transport mode plays a crucial role and will significantly contribute to our overall sustainability goal of zero emissions.”
What is Eviation's Alice Aircraft?
- Manufacturer: Eviation
- Capacity: 1,200kg
- Range: 815km
- Charge time: 30 minutes
- Launching: 2024
Eviation’s Alice aircraft enable cargo and passenger airlines to operate zero-emission fleets. The plane can be flown by one pilot and is capable of carrying 1,200kg, with a maximum range of 815km.
The aircraft can be fully charged in 30 minutes, which can take place while the vehicle is loaded and unloaded between flights. Eviation says that, because the aircraft has fewer moving parts - or points of failure - than traditional aircraft, they are more reliable and reduce maintenance overheads and downtime.
“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network,” said Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express. “Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint, and these advancements in fleet and technology will go a long way in achieving further carbon reductions.”
How Does Alice Compare with UPS’ eVTOLs?
DHL Express is not alone in electrifying the skies. In April, UPS announced a new fleet of eVTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, from Beta Technologies, which will enter service in 2024.
UPS’ vehicles can carry 635kg with a 400km range and cruising speeds of up to 170mph. The eVTOLs can carry cargo to several short-hops or one long route on a single charge, and are aimed at healthcare organisation, SMEs and businesses in small or remote communities.
“These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services, and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation,” said Juan Perez, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer.
The first 10 eVTOLs will be delivered in 2024, with the option for UPS to order up to 150 more.