Air freight capacity continues to struggle with headwinds. Disruptions have hampered the recovery of bellyhold capacity and the war in Ukraine has decimated freighter lift and curbed payload on Asia-Europe routes.


As e-commerce operators claim more freighter aircraft, lift for shippers and forwarders remains tight, keeping rates high.


Two years after Covid-19 brought about an implosion of international flying global air freight capacity still remains below its level in 2019. IATA statistics for February show a 5.6% shortfall in available ton-kilometers vis-a-vis February 2019.

Covid-19 导致国际航空内爆两年后,全球航空货运能力仍低于 2019 年的水平。国际航空运输协会 2 月份的统计数据显示,与 2019 年 2 月相比,可用吨公里同比仍然下跌 5.6%。


Owing to numerous passenger flight cancellations in North America and Asia, triggered by a combination of weather problems, labour shortages, and Covid-19-related restrictions, capacity had contracted 3.6% in January from December. It slumped 13.5% in North America and dropped 7.9% in the Asia-Pacific region. Passenger flying improved in February, but the outbreak of war in Ukraine resulted in a massive loss of freighter lifts.

由于天气问题、劳动力短缺和与 Covid-19 相关的限制共同引发北美和亚洲的大量客运航班取消,1 月份运力较 12 月份收缩了 3.6%。它在北美下跌了 13.5%,在亚太地区下跌了 7.9%。2 月份客运量有所改善,但乌克兰战争的爆发导致航空货运大量损失。

The recovery in bellyhold lift has been most hobbled in international long-haul sectors. Many of the older aircraft previously deployed on those routes are not going to return, as their owners decided to drop them from their fleets and bring in more advanced and fuel-efficient planes.



In some sectors, this changes the equation for available cargo lift. The proliferation of Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737MAX aircraft is seeing these planes increasingly flying on routes where traditionally widebodies like the 767 have been used.

在某些领域,这改变了可用货物装载模式。随着空中客车 A321neo 和波音 737MAX 飞机的普及,这些飞机越来越多地在使用 767 等传统宽体飞机的航线上飞行。

This is having an impact on the North Atlantic on sectors between the North American East Coast and Western Europe. Elsewhere, Hawaiian Air has replaced its 767s with A321neos to fly to the continental US.

这对北美东海岸和西欧之间的北大西洋地区产生了影响。在其他地方,夏威夷航空公司已将其 767 替换为 A321neos,以飞往美国大陆。

Ajay Virmani, CEO of Canadian freighter airline Cargojet in Toronto, described the push of A321 and 737 planes into longer sectors as a structural shift in the market that takes out widebody planes and opens doors for freighter operators.

加拿大货运航空公司 Cargojet 在总部多伦多的首席执行官 Ajay Virmani 将 A321 和 737 飞机推向更长的领域描述为市场的结构性转变,它淘汰了宽体飞机并为货运运营商打开了大门。


He made these comments at the end of March, when his company announced a five-year agreement with DHL, which calls for Cargojet to provide another five 767 freighters to the integrator, on top of 12 planes that the freighter airline is already flying for DHL. In addition, DHL will be using the first two of four 777 freighters that Cargojet has ordered, which will begin to enter its fleet in 2024.

他在 3 月底发表了这些评论,当时他的公司宣布与 DHL 达成一项为期五年的协议,该协议要求 Cargojet 在货运航空公司已经为 DHL 提供 12 架飞机的基础上再向集成商提供 5 架 767 货机。此外,DHL 将使用 Cargojet 订购的四架 777 货机中的前两架,这些货机将于 2024 年开始进入其机队。

“DHL wouldn’t sign a five-year contract if they thought everything is going back to bellies,” he said.

他说:“如果 DHL 认为一切都回到了肚子里,他们就不会签署一份 5 年的合同。”

Other operators share this view. While current capacity bottlenecks have prompted a considerable number of forwarders to sign up for dedicated freighter flights, there is broad consensus that the need for main deck capacity will extend beyond the near future.


In February Flexport signed a multi-year agreement with Eastern Airlines for a 777 ‘E-class freighter’ (a passenger 777 that had its passenger infrastructure removed to accommodate cargo) to fly twice a week across the Pacific, linking Chicago with Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City.

2 月,Flexport 与东方航空公司签署了一项多年期协议,让一架 777“E 级货机”(一架波音 777客机 已拆除其客运座位用以装载货物)每周两次飞越太平洋,连接芝加哥与香港和胡志明市

Airlines are also betting on lasting strength in air cargo. Air France-KLM signed an order for four A350 freighters in April, plus options on another four. Top executives of Lufthansa Cargo and Air Canada Cargo have expressed an appetite to add more freighters to their fleets.

航空公司也在押注航空货运的持久实力。法航荷航在 4 月签署了四架 A350 货机的订单,另外还有四架的选择权。汉莎航空货运和加航货运的高级管理人员表示有兴趣在他们的机队中增加更多的货机。

E-commerce continues to be an outsize driver of the need for freighter aircraft.



Last October JD Logistics CEO Yui Yu said that the company was planning to establish its own freighter fleet that would swell to at least 100 aircraft by 2030.

去年 10 月,京东物流 CEO Yui Yu 表示,该公司计划建立自己的货机机队,到 2030 年将增至至少 100 架飞机。

Amazon’s freighter operations keep growing. Between last August and March its lift increased 14 percent as the fleet grew from 73 aircraft to 88, according to the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University in Chicago, which has kept track of the progress of Amazon Air.

亚马逊的货运业务不断增长。根据芝加哥德保罗大学查迪克大都会发展研究所的数据,从去年 8 月到 3 月,随着机队从 73 架飞机增加到 88 架,它的升力增加了 14%,该研究所一直在跟踪亚马逊航空的进展。

Joseph Schwieterman, professor of public service management and director at the institute, noted that much of the recent expansion has been in Europe. He expects Amazon to set up a trans-Pacific operation before long, most likely with 777 cargo planes.

公共服务管理教授兼研究所所长约瑟夫施维特曼指出,最近的大部分扩张都发生在欧洲。他预计亚马逊不久将建立跨太平洋业务,最有可能就是波音 777 的超大型货机。


DHL’s agreement with Cargojet shows that the integrators have an ongoing appetite for freighters to move their growing e-commerce volumes.

DHL 与 Cargojet 的协议表明,集成商对货机的需求持续增长,以推动其不断增长的电子商务量。

UPS placed an order for 19 767 freighters in December. FedEx is expected to sign for a large number of new widebody jets – either A350s or 777Xs – in the near future.

UPS 在 12 月订购了19架波音767 架货机。预计联邦快递将在不久的将来签署大量新的宽体喷气式飞机——A350 或 777X。

At this point, it is unclear how the longer-term repercussions of the conflict in Ukraine will impact capacity.


The embargoes placed by the European Union and the U.S. and Canadian governments on Russian airlines led to the grounding of the fleets of the Volga-Dnepr group. This not only removed the Antonov 124 and IL-76s of Volga-Dnepr from the international arena but also the 747 fleets of AirBridgeCargo Airlines.

欧盟、美国和加拿大政府对俄罗斯航空公司实施的禁运导致伏尔加-第聂伯集团的机队停飞。这不仅将伏尔加-第聂伯的安东诺夫 124 和 IL-76 从国际舞台上移除,也将空桥货运航空公司的 747 机队移除。


According to Lufthansa Cargo CEO Dorothea von Boxberg, this reduced capacity between the Asia-Pacific region and Europe by about 10%.

据汉莎航空货运首席执行官 Dorothea von Boxberg 称,这使亚太地区和欧洲之间的运力减少了约 10%。

The retaliatory embargo on EU-based airlines from the Russian authorities forces these airlines to take a longer route to the Asia-Pacific region, which cuts their payload on the sector by about 10%.

俄罗斯当局对欧盟航空公司的报复性禁运迫使这些航空公司走更长的航线前往亚太地区,这将其在该行业的有效载量减少了约 10%。

Another capacity reduction is on the horizon. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency decreed in April that approvals for the use of the passenger cabin for cargo would end on July 31.

另一个产能缩减即将到来。欧盟航空安全局于 4 月下令,将在 7 月 31 日结束使用客舱运输货物的审批。

The agency sanctioned cargo-in-the-cabin flights in 2020 and extended this last summer, but declared on April 11 that it had concluded: “that the logistical challenges that arose in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 crisis no longer exist to the same extent.”


该机构于 2020 年批准了客舱货运航班,并于去年夏天延长了这一期限,但在 4 月 11 日宣布其得出结论:“由于 Covid-19 危机而在 2020 年出现的后勤挑战已不复存在到同样的程度。”

It added that “cargo capacity in the holds of passenger aircraft is expected to increase by summer 2022, thus reducing the pressure on the logistic chain.”

它补充说,“预计到 2022 年夏季,客机货舱的货运能力将增加,从而减轻物流链的压力。”



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