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It’s an eye-catching title. CAPA has published an interesting analysis of the air freight market, and much of what it says will be welcomed by many in the industry. “Regardless of the demand outlook, an industry that uses less than half of the capacity that it offers is in serious need of structural change,” it argues. Better still, it makes the point that bellies, where the majority of the overcapacity lies, are not, as some airlines might argue, a “free resource”.

“This ignores the impact that belly capacity has on the overcapacity situation in air freight markets, placing downward pressure on yields across the industry. Moreover, it ignores the capital costs of acquiring this space. If belly space cannot be filled, it should not be designed into aircraft.” It also argues: “The reduction in the global freighter fleet demonstrates that many have questioned their use of freighters and answered in the negative, but the growth in passenger belly space suggests that these are the same people that adhere to the “free belly” creed.” Well worth a read.

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