Cargo Airline Business Plan Template

How to start a cargo airline business plan template

Are you interested in starting your own cargo airline Business?

Cargo airlines are a vital part of the global transportation system, hauling everything from perishables to manufactured goods. If you're thinking of starting a cargo airline business, there are a few things you need to know. First, you'll need to obtain the proper licenses and permits from the relevant authorities. You'll also need to find a reliable aircraft supplier and set up efficient ground operations. In this section, we'll give you an overview of what you need to do to start a cargo airline business. We'll also provide some helpful tips on how to make your business successful.
Global Market Size
The global cargo airline business is growing rapidly. In 2017, the total value of goods transported by air was $6.8 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion in 2016, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This growth is being driven by the rise of e-commerce and the increasing demand for time-sensitive shipments. There are currently around 1,200 cargo airlines in operation, with the largest players being FedEx, UPS, and DHL. These companies dominate the market, accounting for over 60% of all air cargo traffic. However, there is still room for new entrants into the market. If you're thinking of starting a cargo airline, there are a few things you need to consider. First, you'll need to obtain a license from the Civil Aviation Authority in your country. This will entitle you to operate scheduled or charter flights within your country's airspace. You'll also need to purchase or lease aircraft that are capable of carrying cargo. There are a wide variety of aircraft available on the market, from small turboprops to large freighters. The type of aircraft you'll need will depend on the size and weight of the shipments you'll be transporting. Finally, you'll need to secure contracts with shippers in order to have a steady stream of cargo to transport. This can be done by working with freight forwarders or directly with businesses that need to ship goods. Starting a cargo airline can be a complex and costly undertaking, but it can also be a very lucrative business. If you have the capital and the commitment, it could be the perfect opportunity to get involved in the booming air cargo industry.
Target Market
When starting a cargo airline business, it is important to consider what type of cargo you will be carrying and who your target market will be. There are many different types of cargo, including perishable goods, dangerous goods, and live animals. Each type of cargo has its own set of regulations that must be followed in order to ensure the safety of the goods and the people handling them. Your target market will largely be determined by the type of cargo you plan to transport. If you are transporting perishable goods, your target market will be businesses that need to move these goods quickly and efficiently. If you are transporting dangerous goods, your target market will be businesses that require these goods to be moved safely and in compliance with all regulations. Live animals must be transported in compliance with animal welfare regulations, so your target market will be businesses that deal with live animals. Knowing your target market is essential when starting a cargo airline business. It will help you determine what type of aircraft and equipment you need, what type of training your staff will need, and what type of insurance you will need to purchase.
Business Model
There are a few key things you need to know in order to start a cargo airline business. First, you need to identify what type of cargo airline business you want to start. There are two main types of cargo airlines: all-cargo airlines and combination airlines. All-cargo airlines transport only cargo, while combination airlines transport both cargo and passengers. Next, you need to develop a business plan. This will help you identify your start-up costs, as well as your marketing and operations strategy. Once you have a business plan in place, you can begin to raise the necessary capital to get your business off the ground. Finally, you need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits from the federal government. Once you have all of these things in place, you will be ready to start operating your cargo airline business!.
Competitive Landscape
The cargo airline business is a competitive one. There are a number of large players such as FedEx and UPS, as well as many smaller regional carriers. When starting a cargo airline, it is important to understand the competitive landscape and what factors will impact your business. The first thing to consider is the size of your potential market. The global air cargo market was valued at $145 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to $208 billion by 2025. This growth is being driven by the continued growth of global trade and the rise of e-commerce. As more businesses move to sell goods online, the demand for air cargo services will continue to grow. Another important factor to consider is the cost of fuel. Fuel is one of the largest expenses for cargo airlines and the price can be volatile. For example, the price of jet fuel was $1.21 per gallon in 2017, but rose to $2.19 per gallon in 2018. The price of fuel can have a significant impact on your bottom line and must be carefully managed. In terms of competition, the large global carriers such as FedEx and UPS have a significant advantage over smaller regional carriers. They have more brand recognition, more resources, and more extensive global networks. However, there are still opportunities for smaller carriers to compete in niche markets or by offering superior customer service. When starting a cargo airline, it is important to carefully consider the competitive landscape and how it will impact your business. Fuel costs, market size, and competition are all important factors to keep in mind. By understanding these factors, you can develop a successful business plan and build a successful cargo airline.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Starting a cargo airline business requires compliance with various legal and regulatory requirements. For instance, you may need to obtain FAA certification to operate your aircraft, secure operating permits from government agencies, and purchase adequate insurance coverage. Other requirements may include meeting safety standards, adhering to noise restrictions, and complying with customs and trade regulations. Before launching your business, it's important to research and understand the legal and regulatory landscape to ensure that you're operating within the law.

Financing Options

Launching a cargo airline business requires significant capital investment, including expenses for aircraft, equipment, personnel, and operations. There are various financing options available to new businesses, including loans from banks and other financial institutions, investments from private investors, and crowdfunding campaigns. It's important to consider the pros and cons of each financing option and choose the one that best suits your needs and goals. Additionally, having a well-developed business plan and financial projections can increase your chances of securing financing.

Fleet and Equipment

Operating a cargo airline business requires specialized equipment, including planes, trucks, and other transportation vehicles. The size and type of your fleet will depend on the scale and scope of your operations, as well as your budget and financing options. For instance, you may choose to purchase new or used aircraft, or lease planes from other airlines. Similarly, you may opt to buy or lease trucks and other equipment to support your logistics and delivery operations.

Marketing and Sales Strategies

To attract and retain customers for your cargo airline business, you'll need to develop effective marketing and sales strategies. This may involve advertising your services in trade publications or online, networking with other businesses in the industry, and forming partnerships with freight forwarders or logistics companies. It's also important to establish a strong online presence, such as through social media channels and a company website. Offering competitive pricing and high-quality service can also help to differentiate your business from competitors.

Operations and Logistics

Managing logistics and coordinating deliveries is a critical aspect of running a successful cargo airline business. This may involve developing robust scheduling systems, tracking shipments in real-time, and coordinating with other transportation providers to ensure timely and efficient delivery. Additionally, it's important to have robust safety protocols in place to prevent accidents and ensure compliance with regulations. Effective logistics management can help to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Human Resources and Management

Running a cargo airline business requires a team of skilled professionals, including pilots, mechanics, logistics specialists, and support staff. It's important to recruit and train a talented and dedicated team to ensure the smooth and safe operation of your business. Additionally, effective management and leadership are essential to overseeing operations, making strategic decisions, and driving growth and profitability. Developing a strong company culture and providing opportunities for employee development and advancement can help to attract and retain top talent.
In conclusion, starting a cargo airline business is a complex process, but it can be done if you have the right resources and partners. There are many moving parts to consider, including aircraft selection and financing, route planning and market analysis, and obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. But with careful planning and execution, a cargo airline can be a profitable and rewarding business venture.

Why write a business plan?

A business plan is a critical tool for businesses and startups for a number of reasons:
  • Business Plans can help to articulate and flesh out the business’s goals and objectives. This can be beneficial not only for the business owner, but also for potential investors or partners
  • Business Plans can serve as a roadmap for the business, helping to keep it on track and on target. This is especially important for businesses that are growing and evolving, as it can be easy to get sidetracked without a clear plan in place.
  • Business plans can be a valuable tool for communicating the business’s vision to employees, customers, and other key stakeholders.
  • Business plans are one of the most affordable and straightforward ways of ensuring your business is successful.
  • Business plans allow you to understand your competition better to critically analyze your unique business proposition and differentiate yourself from the market.
  • Business Plans allow you to better understand your customer. Conducting a customer analysis is essential to create better products and services and market more effectively.
  • Business Plans allow you to determine the financial needs of the business leading to a better understanding of how much capital is needed to start the business and how much fundraising is needed.
  • Business Plans allow you to put your business model in words and analyze it further to improve revenues or fill the holes in your strategy.
  • Business plans allow you to attract investors and partners into the business as they can read an explanation about the business.
  • Business plans allow you to position your brand by understanding your company’s role in the marketplace.
  • Business Plans allow you to uncover new opportunities by undergoing the process of brainstorming while drafting your business plan which allows you to see your business in a new light. This allows you to come up with new ideas for products/services, business and marketing strategies.
  • Business Plans allow you to access the growth and success of your business by comparing actual operational results versus the forecasts and assumptions in your business plan. This allows you to update your business plan to a business growth plan and ensure the long-term success and survival of your business.

Business Plan Content


Many people struggle with drafting a business plan and it is necessary to ensure all important sections are present in a business plan:
  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Overview
  3. Industry Analysis
  4. Consumer Analysis
  5. Competitor Analysis & Advantages
  6. Marketing Strategies & Plan
  7. Plan of Action
  8. Management Team

The financial forecast template is an extensive Microsoft Excel sheet with Sheets on Required Start-up Capital, Salary & Wage Plans, 5-year Income Statement, 5-year Cash-Flow Statement, 5-Year Balance Sheet, 5-Year Financial Highlights and other accounting statements that would cost in excess of £1000 if obtained by an accountant.

The financial forecast has been excluded from the business plan template. If you’d like to receive the financial forecast template for your start-up, please contact us at . Our consultants will be happy to discuss your business plan and provide you with the financial forecast template to accompany your business plan.

Instructions for the Business Plan Template

To complete your perfect cargo airline business plan, fill out the form below and download our cargo airline business plan template. The template is a word document that can be edited to include information about your cargo airline business. The document contains instructions to complete the business plan and will go over all sections of the plan. Instructions are given in the document in red font and some tips are also included in blue font. The free template includes all sections excluding the financial forecast. If you need any additional help with drafting your business plan from our business plan template, please set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our consultants.

Ongoing Business Planning


With the growth of your business, your initial goals and plan is bound to change. To ensure the continued growth and success of your business, it is necessary to periodically update your business plan. Your business plan will convert to a business growth plan with versions that are updated every quarter/year. Avvale Consulting recommends that you update your business plan every few months and practice this as a process. Your business is also more likely to grow if you access your performance regularly against your business plans and reassess targets for business growth plans.


Want a Bespoke Business Plan for your cargo airline Business?

Our Expertise


Avvale Consulting has extensive experience working with companies in many sectors including the cargo airline industry. You can avail a free 30-minute business consultation to ask any questions you have about starting your cargo airline business. We would also be happy to create a bespoke cargo airline business plan for your cargo airline business including a 5-year financial forecast to ensure the success of your cargo airline business and raise capital from investors to start your cargo airline business. This will include high-value consulting hours with our consultants and multiple value-added products such as investor lists and Angel Investor introductions.


About Us


Avvale Consulting is a leading startup business consulting firm based in London, United Kingdom. Our consultants have years of experience working with startups and have worked with over 300 startups from all around the world. Our team has thousands of business plans, pitch decks and other investment documents for startups leading to over $100 Million raised from various sources. Our business plan templates are the combination of years of startup fundraising and operational experience and can be easily completed by a business owner regardless of their business stage or expertise. So, whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a veteran businessman, download our business plan template and get started on your business growth journey today.