Singapore — A recovery in international trade is reviving demand for aircraft once proudly linked to long-haul passenger travel and now mainly dependent on hauling cargo to stay in production. The upturn underscores a solid economic backdrop to this week’s Singapore Airshow, as the airline industry heads into its ninth year of global profits. On the eve of the show, the world’s second-largest domestic cargo airline, UPS, handed Boeing a lifeline order for 14 more 747-8 freighters, easing doubts over the jumbo’s future. The deal extends a turnaround since a year ago, when half-a-dozen 747-8s were unsold after being built: a sure way of allowing cash to rot on a manufacturer’s balance sheet. It comes as air freight markets respond to higher consumer confidence after years of volatility and tepid growth. The best year for cargo since 2010 was 2017, with traffic growth more than doubling to 9%, three times the growth in capacity, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) report...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.