Why the UK’s aerospace sector is booming


The UK’s aerospace sector continues to be buoyant in the midst of supply chain challenges and a muted Q1 outlook, according to the latest aircraft orders and deliveries report compiled by ADS. The 146 aircraft orders placed in May 2023 represents a 306% increase on the 2022 figures, as the confidence in the UK aerospace sector continues to grow. Deliveries increased by 38% over the same time period.

The current backlog of aircraft orders is 13,406 aircraft, a positive marker for the health of the aerospace sector. The potential value-add of this backlog to the UK economy could exceed £205 billion, representing several years’ worth of work.

The staggering year-on-year increase in aircraft orders highlights growing confidence in the aerospace sector. While the sector is not expected to reach post-pandemic levels until 2024, the 38% year-on-year growth in aircraft deliveries highlights its resilience, and is a positive health check in the midst of increased supply chain challenges.

May also saw the Paris Air Show 2023 generate aircraft deals worth a projected value of US$155bn. The value of firm aircraft deals to the UK is estimated to be worth up to £13.6bn at published list prices and assumed content of production.

The latest figures published by ADS Group showcase exports from the UK aerospace sector being worth £18.6 billion in 2022. It further highlights that businesses in the UK’s aerospace sector generate £27 billion in turnover, with value-add to the UK economy worth £10.9 billion.

ADS is the trade association for the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, with more than 1,200 member businesses

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