The demand for these aircraft is driven primarily by the need to replace aircraft with newer more eco-efficient models in mature markets, dynamic growth in new emerging markets, low-cost carriers particularly in Asia, further market liberalisation and capacity growth on existing routes.
Freight traffic is recovering at 5.9%, and is expected to rebound closer to 18% in 2010 before levelling off at more typical growth levels by the end of 2011.
Combined with fleet renewal, this translates to a demand for around 2,980 freighters. While some 870 will be new aircraft valued at US$211 billion, 2,110 will be converted from passenger aircraft.
Aircraft are getting bigger as airlines capitalise on the benefits of larger aircraft to absorb traffic growth, minimise airport congestion, reduce costs and increase eco-efficiency.
Demand for Very Large Aircraft (VLA) passenger and freighter aircraft, like the A380, is more than 1,700 valued in excess of US$570 billion.