Widebody freighter fleet analysis 2016 – Part V

Today we conclude our annual analysis of the widebody freighter fleet. Over the last month we have examined the evolution of the fleet, charted the entire fleet on a carrier-by-carrier basis, discussed trends that will affect the growth and composition of the fleet in the future, and analyzed the makeup of the fleet by aircraft type. (Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to these earlier posts.)

In this final chapter we look at the composition of the fleet from several other perspectives: who built the planes, what kind of airlines fly them, and how the fleet varies by region.

If you are interested in learning more about the state of the air freight and express industry, and how the trends that are emerging today will impact both the widebody and narrowbody freighter fleets in the years to come, join us in Hong Kong next week at Cargo Facts Asia 2016. To register, or for more information, go to www.cargofactsasia.com.

The chart at right shows the breakdown of the worldwide widebody freighter fleet, as it stood in early 2016, by manufacturer, by operator type, and by region.

Share by manufacturer

In terms of the composition of the fleet today, the resurgence in demand for the 767-300F increased Boeing’s share of the medium widebody fleet to 50.5% last year, ending many years of Airbus domination of this segment. The Boeing share has increased slightly to 50.8% this year, and with outstanding orders for eighty-one 767-300Fs, as opposed to just eight A330-200Fs, and the boom in 767-300BCF/BDSF conversions, Boeing’s share will continue to grow over the next few years.

Boeing continues to have the large-capacity freighter segment to itself. The in-service numbers reflect a growing quantity of 777 and 747-8 freighters, but as noted the earlier parts of this analysis last month, the number of 747 Classic, MD-11 and MD/DC-10-30 freighters in service declined. Some of the MD-11Fs could be re-activated, just as a handful of 747-400Fs/ERFs were in 2015, but this does not seem likely.

The outstanding orders in the large capacity segment include twenty-five 747‑8Fs and fifty-three 777Fs – down from last year, but still a significant number. [Note that this assumes AirBridgeCargo Airlines will eventually firm its MoU for twenty 747-8Fs.]

Share by carrier type:

It is useful to examine the characteristics of the airlines that utilize widebody freighters. The categories of airline used in this analysis are combination carriers (that is, carriers such as Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Cathay, etc., that operate both passenger and freighter aircraft), express carriers (FedEx, SF Airlines, UPS, etc.), scheduled-service all-cargo carriers (e.g. Cargolux, and Nippon Cargo Airlines), and specialist all-cargo carriers (e.g. Atlas Air, Air Atlanta Icelandic, and Southern Air). Note that members of the specialist group operate most of their freighters on an ACMI or CMI basis in support of combination and express carriers.

Several interesting factors become apparent when examining how widebody freighters are used:

Share by domicile region

The first four parts of this analysis are available at the following links:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

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