Boeing executive says tough to see air cargo growth this year due to virus

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is displayed on a screen, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The air cargo market is unlikely to grow this year because of the challenges posed in the China market due to the coronavirus, a senior executive at Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Wednesday.

The world’s biggest manufacturer of freighter aircraft had previously forecast air freight would grow by 1% to 2% this year due in part to the United States and China reaching a phase 1 trade deal, said Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, the commercial division of Boeing.

“That is going to see pressure as well,” he told reporters of the U.S.-China deal at the Singapore Airshow.

“If we are not seeing goods travel and airplanes fly that is under pressure. I think it is going to be really tough to see the cargo market grow this year.”

The coronavirus crisis has dimmed hopes of a rebound for air cargo after its worst year in the decade since the financial crisis, the International Air Transport Association, a group of 280 global airlines, said last week.

Reporting by Jamie Freed and Tim Hepher; Editing by Tom Hogue

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