BUDD, L. and ISON, S., 2016. The role of dedicated freighter aircraft in the provision of global airfreight services. Journal of Air Transport Management, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2016.06.003
In 2014, over 51 million tonnes of cargo, valued at over US$6.8 trillion, was flown around the world.
Approximately 56% of this total (by global revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs)) was flown on dedicated
freighter aircraft which were either manufactured specifically for this purpose or converted from passenger
use. The remaining 44% (by total global RTK) travelled as belly-freight in the holds of passenger
flights or on combi (combination) or QC (quick change) aircraft that can accommodate both passengers
and freight. Although both sources of capacity offer the same basic service e the aerial carriage of time
sensitive and/or high value-to-weight goods e they exhibit different cost structures, operating characteristics
and spatial patterns of demand and supply. Using empirical data on the contemporary scale and
scope of global freighter operations, this paper examines the role of dedicated freighter aircraft in the
provision of global airfreight services and identifies a range of exogenous and internal factors which may
affect the demand and supply side characteristics of all-cargo air services in the future.