All things considered, 2016 was a good year for the air freight industry. Full-year data are not yet available, but we expect that when the final numbers are tallied, we will see an increase in worldwide air cargo traffic of about 4% over 2015 – not spectacular compared to what once would have been considered a “good” year, but a welcome result when viewed in the light of the last ten years.
However, despite the growth in 2016 and optimism about demand in 2017, carriers and lessors worldwide ordered fewer production freighters than the average over the last five years.
As shown in the chart at right, there was a net total of sixteen orders for the production freighters offered by Boeing and Airbus, compared to a five-year average of twenty-nine. Likewise, the total of thirty-three deliveries was a drop from the average of forty-four.
Airbus and Boeing currently offer a total of four production jet freighters. We will look in more detail at how each type fared in 2016 tomorrow, as well as presenting a complete look at their order and delivery history.