The first quarter of 2023 has seen a stable start to the year with 276 global aircraft orders placed. The order book is 34 per cent less than Q1 2022, but orders for wide-body aircraft increased a significant 95 per cent indicating strong market confidence in the return of international travel.

Aircraft manufacturers delivered 257 aircraft in Q1, the largest Q1 for deliveries since 2019, with deliveries of single-aisle aircraft dominating market recovery. Deliveries for single-aisle aircraft increased by 11 per cent set against a 10 per cent decline in wide-body deliveries in Q1 2023. Global aircraft deliveries for Q1 2023 represent a significant value of £4 billion to the UK as the advanced aerospace manufacturing sector looks towards blue skies.

Following analysis of current delivery trends and production expectations from manufacturers, ADS forecasts a final 2023 aircraft delivery figure of 1,190 aircraft, set in Q1 2023. The forecast is a four per cent increase from 2022, expectations are that production rates will ramp up as we head towards 2024. Over the coming months, it is essential the supply chain and labour market absorb planned production increases.

Backlog of aircraft

The backlog of aircraft remains above 13,000 at 13,466 aircraft, an important indicator of the positive health of the sector. Following three per cent growth on Q1 2022 the backlog represents several years’ worth of work worth around £212 billion to UK industry.

The latest flight data shows continuing signs of recovery with UK flights arrivals and departures now recovering to under a 14 per cent reduction from comparable data in 2019.

ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven said: “For the first quarter of Q1, aircraft deliveries have led global manufacturing particularly for wide body aircraft, helpful for the UK in having a higher exposure to propulsion and wings.

“Order books have been stable but remain down on previous quarters reflecting the wider operating environment of manufacturing and the rising cost of doing business. It is encouraging to see orders for wide-body aircraft increasing, indicating strong market confidence in international travel.

“As we enter the second quarter of 2023, I hope to see deliveries continue to increase in line with ADS’s post-pandemic recovery expectations of the sector achieving pre-COVID levels in 2024.”Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter