Moving from air cargo news to worldwide political and economic news, the current big story is the stalling of economic growth in China.
Combining all of the above, one might expect to see Chinese airlines’ cargo traffic stagnating or even declining, and their freighter fleets shrinking. But the reality is far different. Of the big Chinese carriers that report cargo traffic, all saw gains in 2015. China Eastern Airlines reported cargo traffic for the full year 2015 up just 1.3 percent, probably not much different from the worldwide industry average for the year, but Cathay Pacific’s cargo traffic rose 5.4 percent, China Southern Airlines reported a 12.0 percent gain, and Air China saw its cargo traffic jump 15.2 percent.
And while some of this increased traffic no doubt moved in the lower holds of the carriers’ passenger fleets, all of them except China Eastern (through its China Cargo Airlines subsidiary) increased their freighter fleets. Cathay, Air China and China Southern all added one 747-400 freighter, and in addition, Air China and China Southern each added three 777Fs.
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