Definitions

LAN Chile Cargo

Cargo airline

Cargo airlines (or airfreight carriers, and derivatives of these names) are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. Some cargo airlines are divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines.

Logistics

Air transport is a vital component of many international Logistics networks, essential to managing and controlling the flow of goods, energy, information and other resources like products, services, and people, from the source of production to the marketplace. It is difficult or nearly impossible to accomplish any international trading, global export/import processes, international repositioning of raw materials/products and manufacturing without a professional logistical support. It involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging. The operating responsibility of logistics is the geographical repositioning of raw materials, work in process, and finished inventories where required at the lowest cost possible.

Aircraft used

Larger cargo airlines tend to use new or recently built aircraft to carry their freight, but many use older aircraft, like the Boeing 707, Boeing 727, Douglas DC-8, DC-10, MD-11, B 747#747-200F, Ilyushin Il-76. Examples of the 60-year-old Douglas DC-3 are still flying around the world carrying cargo (as well as passengers). Short range turboprop airliners such as the An-12, An-26, Fokker Friendship, and British Aerospace ATP are now being modified to accept standard air freight pallets to extend their working lives. This normally involves the replacement of glazed windows with opaque panels, the strengthening of the cabin floor and insertion of a broad top-hinged door in one side of the fuselage.

A number of cargo airlines carry a few passengers from time to time on their flights, and UPS once unsuccessfully tried a passenger charter airline division.

Notable cargo airlines

All-cargo

All-cargo subsidiary

Non-separate entity

World's largest freight carriers by scheduled freight tonne-kilometres flown

2004 total scheduled freight tonne-kilometers flown

  1. FedEx Express 14.579 million
  2. Korean Air 8.264 million
  3. Lufthansa Cargo 8.040 million
  4. United Parcel Service 7.353 million
  5. Singapore Airlines Cargo 7.143 million
  6. Cathay Pacific 5.876 million
  7. China Airlines 5.642 million
  8. Eva Airways 5.477 million
  9. Air France 5.388 million
  10. Japan Airlines 4.924 million

2004 international scheduled freight tonne-kilometers flown

  1. Korean Air 8.164 million
  2. Lufthansa Cargo 8.028 million
  3. Singapore Airlines Cargo 7.143 million
  4. Cathay Pacific 5.876 million
  5. China Airlines 5.642 million
  6. FedEx Express 5.595 million
  7. Eva Airways 5.477 million
  8. Air France 5.384 million
  9. British Airways 4.771 million
  10. Cargolux 4.670 million

2004 domestic scheduled freight tonne-kilometres flown

  1. FedEx Express 8.984 million
  2. United Parcel Service 4.260 million
  3. Northwest Airlines 0.949 million
  4. China Southern Airlines 0.860 million
  5. American Airlines 0.576 million
  6. Delta Air Lines 0.557 million
  7. Air China 0.531 million
  8. United Airlines 0.525 million
  9. Cargojet Airways 0.517 million
  10. China Eastern Airlines 0.458 million

Source for 2004 data: International Air Transport Association. Note that it only includes data for member airlines.

See also

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