IT IS NOW GENERALLY accepted that 1995 represented the bottom of the airliner-delivery cycle, with Airbus Industrie, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas together delivering fewer than 400 aircraft. Despite this depressed production situation, in 1995 the airline industry regained the confidence to order aircraft, while fewer cancellations were recorded than in previous years, resulting in a healthy improvement in the order backlog of the "big three".
This trend is continuing through 1996 with orders up and production rates increasing, as the industry makes its gradual recovery.
The data in this census cover all commercial transport aircraft in service or on firm order with the world's air carriers, excluding aircraft, which can carry more than 19 passengers or the equivalent in cargo. Excluded are some of the older piston types, such as the Douglas DC-3 and DC-6, and predominantly military types, such as the Lockheed L-100. The data are up to date to 1 August, 1996. Aircraft registered with an airline, which has ceased to exist, are still shown against that airline if they have not been registered elsewhere.
Aircraft are listed by region in alphabetical order by manufacturer, then by operator or owner, with those on firm order (but still to be delivered) shown in parentheses. The region is dictated by the base of the operator, and does not necessarily indicate the area of operation. Options and letters of intent are not included, neither are orders by leasing companies, unless a confirmed end-user is known - in which case the order is shown against the airline concerned. Also listed are aircraft which are not in regular airline service, but which are operated by private organisations or operators. Aircraft known to be parked or in storage have been excluded - a possible reason for the discrepancy between the total number built and the total number in airline service. Manufacturers' development aircraft are also excluded.
Operators' fleets include aircraft leased-in as at 1 August, 1996, and there is a chance that some aircraft may be listed with their owners and also airlines which have them on short-term leases from the owner. Aircraft owned by leasing companies, which are not operators are listed only under the operator's name.
Technical data for most of the aircraft types listed can be found in the Regional and Utility Aircraft Directory (Flight International, 15-21 May) and Commercial Airliners of the World (Flight International, 6-12 December, 1995).