Aircraft manufacturers have delivered 257 aircraft during the first quarter of 2023, with single-aisle planes dominating market recovery. According to the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ADS), this is the largest first-quarter delivery figure since 2019 and an eight per cent increase compared to the same period in 2022. These aircraft deliveries, which included 125 planes delivered in March, were valued at £4 billion, a significant contribution to the UK’s advanced aerospace manufacturing industry.
Although global aircraft orders placed during Q1 2023 were 34 per cent less than those in the same period in 2022, there was a 95 per cent increase in orders for wide-body aircraft. This significant increase indicates strong market confidence in the return of international travel, particularly in light of continuing signs of recovery, with UK flight arrivals and departures currently under a 14 per cent reduction from comparable data in 2019.
ADS forecasts global aircraft deliveries to reach 1,190 aircraft by the end of 2023, a four per cent increase from 2022, with the delivery figure set in Q1 2023. However, the association warns that it is essential for the supply chain and labor market to absorb planned production increases over the coming months. The backlog of aircraft remains above 13,000, representing several years’ worth of work worth around £212 billion to the UK industry.
The ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven, commented that the Q1 2023 aircraft deliveries have led global manufacturing, particularly for wide-body aircraft, which is helpful for the UK in having a higher exposure to propulsion and wings. While order books remain stable, they are still down on previous quarters, reflecting the wider operating environment of manufacturing and the rising cost of doing business. Craven expressed his optimism that deliveries will continue to increase in line with ADS’s post-pandemic recovery expectations, and the sector will achieve pre-COVID manufacturing levels in 2024.
The first quarter of 2023 has seen a robust aircraft delivery performance, with a stable start to the year and strong market confidence in the return of international travel. The significant contribution of the aerospace sector to the UK economy highlights the industry’s importance as a key driver of economic growth and a significant employer in the country.
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