The first quarter of 2022 has seen a very strong start to the year and continuation of recovery in market confidence, with 420 global aircraft orders placed – the highest Q1 orderbook since 2014, and a 31% increase on Q1 2021.
Aircraft manufacturers delivered 237 aircraft in Q1, which is an overall increase of 17% on the same period in 2021. Although demand for single-aisle aircraft continues to dominate market recovery, deliveries for both single-aisle and wide-body aircraft increased by 16% and 24%, respectively, in Q1 2022. The increase represents a significant manufacturing value of £3-3.5 billion to the UK despite the slower rate of recovery for the wide-body and long-haul market.
UK aerospace manufacturing output remains significantly weaker than in February 2020, with output 39.7% smaller, and just 0.3% growth in February 2022. However, there continue to be positive signs of recovery in both aircraft orders and delivery.
Based on current delivery trends and production expectations from manufacturers, ADS forecasts a final 2022 aircraft delivery figure of 997 aircraft, a rise of around 4% from 2021. The forecast will be updated following the Farnborough International Airshow in July.
The latest flight data shows encouraging signs of recovery, with UK flight arrivals and departures now recovering to under a 20% reduction from comparable data in 2019. Recovery has been on an upward trend since February, but has also been driven by flights during the Spring break.
The backlog of aircraft remains above 13,000 and continues to rise with demand and market confidence, with 2% growth on Q1 2021, and represents several years’ worth of work worth around £182 billion to the UK aerospace sector.
The best Q1 orderbook for aircraft since 2014 is a very promising sign of the continuation of recovery seen throughout last year as airlines begin to look to the years ahead and the opportunity to renew their fleets with greater confidence.
The ADS forecast is close to 1,000 aircraft for the first time in two years, and is an important symbol of the progress the aviation and aerospace industries have made in recent months.
The UK’s aerospace employers are keen to see the path to full recovery maintained, and ADS will continue to work with Government, industry, and members through ongoing supply chain and labour issues to support planned increases to manufacturing rates.