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June 15, 2024
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While the airfreight industry and the market for large freighters has been in a recession over the last few years, a bright spot for the air cargo sector has been the surge in order for passenger to freight (P2F) conversions for narrow-body aircraft, in particular the Boeing 737 Classics. We expect nearly 50 conversions to be delivered this year, a level not seen since FedEx converted a large fleet of Boeing 727s two decades ago. The P2F conversion market is currently in an upswing, the opposite of the moribund market for long-haul freight.

Today, the narrow-body freighter market is dominated by Boeing products, including the 727, 737 Classics and the 757. 737 Classics are being converted to replace aging 727s in the cargo fleet. The following chart shows the fleet breakdown of light freighters at year-end 2013. With the exception of a few BAe 146 and Russian-built aircraft, the light freighter market is virtually all Boeing. There is currently no P2F conversion program for the A320 family with a certified STC.