Why the order backlog offers reassurance in a challenging 2020

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Figures for January and February 2020 aircraft orders and deliveries show 314 aircraft orders, the largest January-February in the last six years and a 471% increase on the same period last year. February saw only 18 aircraft orders, all of which were widebody aircraft, but following 296 orders in January, the year-to-date on overall aircraft orders remained positive.

The aircraft order backlog remains above 14,000 aircraft, demonstrating at least eight years of work-in-hand and worth up to £210 billion to the UK, providing some long-term confidence for the industry despite continuing uncertainty and new challenges in 2020 as governments and societies around the world address Coronavirus.

Aircraft deliveries are being impacted by a variety of factors, with record low deliveries for February 2020 of 72 aircraft. From next month, direct impacts of Coronavirus on aircraft orders and deliveries will start to be seen, and year-on-year comparisons will show the impact of the global pandemic.

As Coronavirus takes its toll on global society, some of the UK’s world-leading aerospace manufacturers are using their skills in producing complex and precision-engineered equipment to contribute to the production of ventilators for the NHS.

We are doing all we can to ensure our aerospace supply chains have the protection and support that they need to get them through the Covid-19 global pandemic so that they can continue to manufacture world-class products and equipment.

Many companies will face significant challenges and it is essential that support announced by the UK Government should be made available to affected businesses quickly, protecting jobs and the prosperity of communities across the country. In the months ahead, we will also need to explore how best to support companies on the journey back to stability and growth.

ADS is the UK trade organisation representing the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, with more than 1,100 member businesses.

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