The UK supply chain must be ready for industry growth

In its annual press conference today, Airbus revealed a number of interesting figures: the company has a current backlog of 5,559 aircraft – amounting to over 8 years of continuous production – and global revenues in 2013 totalled around $450bn (net).

Such figures demonstrate why the UK must remain at the heart of the global aerospace industry. An 8 year production backlog provides stability in maintaining a wide range of key, high value manufacturing jobs, and the UK’s 17% global market share brings significant economic benefits from a near half a trillion dollar industry.

However, these figures also signal why the UK must continue to invest in its aerospace industry and remain a competitive place to do business. Across the UK’s supply chain, increased investment in innovation, government support for industrial strategy and the work of the AGP, alongside improvements for businesses to access the funds in order to grow, are vital if the UK wants to compete globally.

Such measures are essential in order to raise further the quality of the UK’s supply chain and subsequently respond to the expected ramp up in production of both the A350XWB in 2015/16 and the potential increase for A320 series from its current rate of 42 a month.