As the market waits for factors suppressing long-term growth in aircraft deliveries to pass, aircraft orders and deliveries have seen a significant reduction year on year, with a 79% and 49% decrease respectively on August last year. This in turn has meant a negative impact on engine orders, which see a 78% decrease compared to August 2018.
Widebody aircraft saw growth in the month of August, with three more deliveries than last year and a 200% increase in widebody engine orders. August 2019 also saw strong delivery figures for widebody engines, with a 12% increase on last year, contributing to the continued trend in the year to date of stronger delivery figures for widebody aircraft up 18% and engines up 16% compared to the first eight months of 2018.
The overall backlog of aircraft orders declined by 3% in the year from August 2018, as customers wait for greater certainty and developments in the single-aisle aircraft market segment before placing their orders. However, current backlog orders of 13,759 are still worth up to £225 billion to the UK.
In the coming years, the global aviation industry is expected to see significant growth. In September, Airbus published its Global Market Forecast 2019-2038, showing the aerospace industry expects the world’s passenger and cargo aircraft fleet to more than double from around 23,000 aircraft today to nearly 48,000 by 2038. In addition to the new aircraft needed to expand the global fleet, more than 14,000 older models are expected to be replaced by more modern and fuel efficient aircraft.
The global aerospace industry has been facing some obvious challenges, and these have resulted in reduced aircraft orders and deliveries. There remains very strong international demand and we expect these to recover and continue on an upward trend in the years ahead.
The UK has a fantastic opportunity, but only if we remain globally competitive and avoid disruption to our just-in-time supply chains. A No-Deal Brexit would be the worst possible outcome for UK aerospace, and efforts should be focused on securing a deal that provides regulatory alignment and frictionless trade.