The Business Times

Big-belly Boeings blunt cargo-jet demand

Freighter sales stall as carriers shift less- urgent deliveries to jetliners' cargo holds

Published Mon, Jun 30, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[CHICAGO] The world's biggest maker of air freighters is finding its most formidable competitors to be the huge bellies of its own passenger planes. Sales of Boeing Co's 777 and 747-8 cargo aircraft have stalled as carriers such as British Airways and FedEx Corp, operator of the world's largest cargo airline, shift less-urgent shipments to the cargo holds of Boeing 777 jetliners.

Boeing's largest twin-engine model is leading the influx of aircraft with spacious cargo bays that are squeezing out older freighters and damping demand for new planes. The global fleet of wide-body passenger jets is projected to grow 8 per cent this year, adding to a capacity glut as the fuel-efficient 777 and other long-range models are manufactured in record numbers.

"I haven't sold a wide-body freighter in four years," said Glen Langdon, president of Langdon Asset Management Inc, a San Francisco firm with extensive experience selling used 747s and other large commercial jets. "I have sold wide-body passenger aircraft, including 777s. I was stunned and amazed by just how much capacity there is below deck."

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