H1 2023 sees record-breaking aircraft orders: the best since 2010


A record-breaking 1,667 orders were placed for global aircraft in the first half of 2023. The latest report from ADS Group, the trade association for the aerospace, defence, security and space organisations, highlights a 129% increase in aircraft orders placed in the first half (H1) of 2023 compared to 2022 figures.

The outstanding figure is driven by the most successful H1 for aircraft orders since ADS records began in 2010, with June and Paris Airshow announcements boosting the global aircraft order book. In the single-aisle aircraft market, orders reflect strong market confidence, with the 1,398 single-aisle aircraft ordered year to date being the highest order number on record.

The backlog of aircraft orders grew 11% in H1 2023 to 14,462 aircraft. In the same period in 2022, the backlog increased by just 1%. At current production rates, the aircraft backlog represents more than 10 years’ worth of work and a value of £218 billion to the UK.

Aircraft manufacturers delivered 582 aircraft during the first half of the year, an overall increase of more than 13% on the same period in 2022. Of note, in H1 2023, 85 wide-body aircraft were delivered, a 23% increase year on year.

ADS continues to highlight returning levels of confidence in the sector. Considering current production and delivery dates, ADS has uplifted its forecast of 1,215 aircraft deliveries by the end of this year.

This would represent the largest number of aircraft delivered in more than three years, and is a strong signal that aircraft manufacturing is on its way to pre-pandemic trends, despite ongoing supply chain issues.

ADS’s revised forecast for 2023’s aircraft deliveries compared with the 2022 actual set as at H1 2023

Orders and backlogs increase while the supply chain is still creaking

Record breaking orders, recovering delivery figures and a healthy backlog showcase continued confidence in aerospace industry recovery. However ADS members consistently report pressure on UK supply chains. In Q2, half of respondents to an ADS survey identified inflation as having a significant impact on their ability to grow, with the same proportion concerned about the costs of raw materials and inputs.

The roaring aircraft orders made during H1 2023 are a very welcome sign of increasing confidence in the sector. Separately, growth in delivery figures support our ADS expectations of a return to pre-pandemic levels of manufacturing in 2024.

For UK industry to fully realise the manufacturing potential offered by the strong aircraft backlog and record order book seen at H1 2023, roadblocks – including supply chain issues and labour shortages affecting growth – need to be addressed. In the coming months, ADS will continue to work with our industry and political stakeholders to ensure focus on the current issues affecting the aerospace sector.

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