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2 minute read - 24th April 2023

Aerospace sector sees robust Q1 for aircraft deliveries

The first quarter of 2023 has seen a stable start to the year with 276 global aircraft orders placed. The order book overall is 34% lower than in Q1 2022, but orders for wide-body aircraft increased a significant 95% indicating strong market confidence in the return of international travel, according to data released by aerospace trade body ADS.

Aircraft manufacturers delivered 257 aircraft in the first quarter of this year, the largest Q1 for deliveries since 2019, with deliveries of single-aisle aircraft dominating the market recovery. Deliveries for single-aisle aircraft increased by 11%, with wide-body deliveries declining 10% in Q1 2023. ADS highlighted that global aircraft deliveries for Q1 2023 represent a significant value of £4bn to the UK as the advanced aerospace manufacturing sector looks towards blue skies.

Following analysis of current delivery trends and production expectations from manufacturers, ADS forecasts a final 2023 aircraft delivery figure of 1,190 aircraft – a four per cent increase from 2022. Expectations are that production rates will ramp up as we head towards 2024. The backlog of aircraft remains above 13,000 for the 16th consecutive month at 13,466 aircraft, an important indicator of the positive health of the sector.

Aircraft manufacturers delivered 257 aircraft in the first quarter of this year, the largest Q1 for deliveries since 2019 / Picture: Getty/iStock

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Following three per cent growth on Q1 2022, the backlog is also worth a potential £212bn to UK industry. ADS added that over the coming months, it is essential the supply chain and labour market absorb planned production increases. The latest flight data shows continuing signs of recovery with UK flight arrivals and departures now recovering to under a 14% reduction from comparable data in 2019.

ADS chief executive, Kevin Craven, said: “For the first quarter of 2023, dominated by single-aisle aircraft, overall deliveries are up with the sector seeing its best Q1 since 2019. This is a helpful boost for the UK in having a higher exposure to propulsion and wing manufacturing. Order books have been stable but remain down on previous quarters reflecting the wider operating environment of manufacturing and the rising cost of doing business. It is encouraging to see orders for wide-body aircraft increasing, indicating strong market confidence in international travel. As we enter the second quarter of 2023, I hope to see deliveries continue to increase in line with ADS’s post-pandemic recovery expectations of the sector achieving pre-Covid levels in 2024.”

Graphic and data courtesy of ADS

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