Lowest February aircraft deliveries for a decade

Aeroplane

According to ADS, the UK trade organisation representing the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors, there were 54 global aircraft deliveries in February 2021, the lowest number since ADS records began in 2010. Continuing depressed delivery numbers show the impact of the pandemic on the aerospace market, following the previous decade’s steady growth in the international market. Prior to the crisis manufacturers aimed to ramp up production to meet rising global demand for modern, fuel efficient aircraft, but have cut monthly rates significantly as the crisis has had a severe impact on the sector.

February saw 93 aircraft orders, the highest for any month in more than a year, including 49 single aisle aircraft and 44 widebodies. However, orders were outnumbered by 137 cancellations, as the overall backlog fell to 12,885 orders, down from more than 14,000 before the crisis. UK manufacturers provide major components for the world’s most popular aircraft models, which means the overall backlog could be worth up to £181bn to UK industry in the coming years as orders are fulfilled.

The UK aviation and aerospace sectors are now looking to the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce report due early next month to deliver a resilient risk-based system that enables passengers to return to flying as the world re-establishes connections in response to successful vaccination programmes.

ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “The impact of the pandemic is continuing to have a severe impact on the aerospace sector in the UK and around the world. While support for businesses across the economy has helped to mitigate the impact on workforces, our largest international competitors have benefited from greater sector-specific assistance from their Governments.

“The most important factor in delivering a strong recovery this summer is to secure a recovery in flight volumes, which remain more than 80 per cent below pre-crisis levels in the UK.

“The Global Travel Taskforce report must set out a risk based approach that rebuilds confidence in international travel and puts in place measures necessary to avoid the need for quarantine.”

Delivery figures cover reported global deliveries of commercial aircraft by Airbus and Boeing.