Global aircraft orders in May slowed and were less than previous months, but this was against the strong order books that we have seen in recent months, with 15 single-aisle and 21 widebody aircraft ordered. Following a strong start to 2022, year-to-date aircraft orders are the largest for the first five months of the year since 2014, and up 27% on the same period in 2021. [Editor’s note: this was written prior to the order for 282 A320 Family aircraft from four Chinese airlines].
Aircraft deliveries were up, with 82 aircraft delivered, 71 single-aisle and 11 wide-body: a 22% improvement on May 2021. Despite the slower orders for the month, deliveries remain in line with the ADS forecast of global deliveries reaching 997 aircraft, and year-to-date numbers for January to May are the highest number of deliveries since 2019.
UK aerospace manufacturing output remains significantly weaker than February 2020, with output 40.5% smaller. However, the May data is set against a rising backlog and aircraft manufacturer production rate ramp-ups, which both indicate continued positive signs of recovery. It is expected that announcements at the Farnborough International Airshow will demonstrate the sector is on a path to recovery.
The backlog of aircraft remains above 13,000 for the sixth consecutive month and continues to rise with demand alongside market confidence, and represents several years’ worth of work worth around £198 billion to the UK aerospace industry.
The latest flight data, despite being set against a challenging airport operating environment, continues to show encouraging signs of recovery, with UK flight arrivals and departures remaining stable and now recovering to under a 15% reduction from comparable data in 2019.
“We have had a positive start to the year with aircraft orders up over the first five months of the year and at their highest since 2014. The reduction this month in aircraft orders is set against a challenging aerospace operating environment with some ongoing supply chain issues coupled with rising prices and energy costs, highlights that the road to sustained long-term recovery is long and challenging in places.
In less than a month, Farnborough International Airshow takes place, and I am optimistic that announcements made during the show will boost order books and support the sector’s continued recovery.
This summer’s Farnborough International Airshow is an opportunity for the UK to showcase its expertise in aerospace manufacturing and I look forward to seeing our industry continue to be chosen as a trusted supplier of world-leading aerospace technology and innovation.