• Aircraft orders in May 2024 are 79% below May 2023 figures
  • Delivery rates are 14% down in 2024, compared with 2023, due to challenges in production, regulation and capacity ramp up
  • Backlog remains strong, representing £247bn work to the UK aerospace sector

London (1 July 2024) – 79% fewer aircraft orders were placed in May 2024 than in May 2023, meaning year-to-date orders are now 14% behind the same point last year, the latest figures from ADS Group show. This contrasts with orders in the first four months of the year, which were tracking 16% above the same period in 2023.

Figures from the trade association show that confidence in the sector remains strong, with a healthy order backlog of 15,694 – 17% ahead of the equivalent period in 2023.

Wide body aircraft demand is on the up

Increased international travel has increased demand for wide body aircraft, with ADS figures noting a 118% increase in May 2024 compared to May 2023. The 24 wide body aircraft orders in May 2024 further fuel a wide body backlog of 2,294. The 7 single-aisle aircraft ordered in May 2024 represents a 95% decline when compared to May 2023.

Aimie Stone, Chief Economist at ADS said:

“While these numbers may seem concerning at a first glance, detail and context reveal that the continued confidence within our sector remains justified.

“Farnborough International Airshow is the single biggest and most prestigious event for the aerospace sector, and its role as a place for big business to be done and announced is well understood amongst companies.

“This means we anticipate falling order rates, in an otherwise buoyant sector, are simply a reflection of the sector’s collective desire to make their orders at this flagship event.”

The latest order figures are released ahead of Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) alongside ADS’ Aerospace Sector Outlook, showcasing a value add of £10.9 billion to the UK economy, an increase of 16% compared to 2013 figures. The figures highlight 104,000 direct jobs in the aerospace sector, with a median salary of £48.7k – 39% higher than UK average, with the vast majority (88 percent) located outside of London and the Southeast.