August 2021 was a bumper month for aircraft orders according to research by ADS Group, but production rates remain low.

The 130 single-aisle and 25 wide-body orders, make August 2021 the highest order rates for the same month since 2016, and a steep rise compared to August 2020. Manufacturers delivered 62 aircraft, an increase of 19 per cent ahead of August 2020. Year-to-date deliveries are now at 590 aircraft, an increase of 59 per cent compared to the same point a year ago, as the aerospace sector continues to feel the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. ADS said this was highlighted by subdued month-to-month delivery and production rates.

2021 – a less volatile operating environment

Throughout August, ADS said flight data had remained broadly stable with UK flight numbers around 50 per cent below 2019 levels and European flights around 30 per cent below 2019 levels, signalling a less volatile operating environment and a slow recovery from the worst of the Covid-19 crisis enabled by the easing of international travel restrictions.

The backlog of aircraft orders remains substantial at 12,860 aircraft and despite a 5 per cent decrease from August 2020, the total order book will be worth approximately £181 billion to the UK aircraft manufacturing industry and represents several years’ worth of work.

Craven: “Road to a sustained recovery will be a long one”

ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven said: “The UK aerospace and aviation sectors continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and despite a welcome boost to the 2021 order book, the road to a sustained long-term recovery will be a long one.”

“Recent UK Government and US announcements on easing travel restrictions are welcome and these changes, which will include the lifting of the US travel ban on UK and EU arrivals and reducing testing requirements for vaccinated travellers will allow people to reconnect and enjoy freedom to travel once again.”

“As our industry recovers, we are focussed on securing future opportunities for UK industry, including in delivering net zero aviation by 2050. Government and industry are working together to make sure the UK plays a full role in delivering these opportunities, securing high value UK jobs, and supporting the global aerospace industry achieve our net zero goals.”

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