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2 minute read

2021 totals shows aerospace sector recovery underway

Overall aircraft order and delivery figures for 2021 show a slow recovery is underway from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global deliveries in 2021 totalled 951 aircraft, just short of the ADS forecast of 988 aircraft. Deliveries of single-aisle aircraft increased for the first time in two years at 51%. However, wide-body deliveries continue to be impacted by suppressed demand due to the pandemic and decreased 20% – the lowest annual figure since records began in 2010, suggesting a slower rate of recovery for the wide-body and long-haul market.

Despite the start of a recovery in global deliveries, UK aerospace manufacturing remains 36.1% below pre-pandemic output, showing the challenges the sector and its supply chains face.

Some 689 cancellations were made during 2021 but aircraft orders increased significantly from 2019 and 2020 figures with 1,680 new aircraft orders placed in 2021. The backlog of orders for aircraft currently stands at 12,989, representing £190bn in economic value to UK manufacturing in the coming years.

Aircraft orders and deliveries in 2021 show a recovery of the aerospace sector is underway – the order backlog now stands at 12,989, worth £190bn to UK manufacturing / Picture: Getty/iStock

The final months of 2021 saw a strong recovery in orders, including at Dubai Airshow in November, one of the first international airshows to take place since the start of the pandemic. In 2022, the international aerospace industry will be brought together in the UK at the Farnborough International Airshow in July.

ADS chief executive Kevin Craven, said: “It is encouraging to see signs of recovery, however there is still a very long road ahead to return to pre-pandemic levels of output.

“Manufacturers are now preparing for production rate increases, posing potential challenges for employers throughout our supply chains who have faced major difficulties in the last two years.

“This year will be an exciting one for UK aerospace and aviation. We are looking forward to continued progress in developing revolutionary green aerospace technology that will deliver net zero air travel, and to the return of Farnborough International Airshow. We hope to see a strengthening recovery in UK aerospace manufacturing that will enable us to build our international standing as a leader in this high value global industry.”

Graphic & data: ADS Group Commercial Aerospace Market Information

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