This week, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) are promoting national ‘Export Week’ – hosting a variety of events up and down the country encouraging UK companies to get more involved in the exporting process.

To celebrate Export Week, ADS will be blogging each day this week on the huge importance of exports to our industries – in sustaining market share, jobs and growth. Today, we take a look at aircraft seating and why the UK is a world leader in both the defence and aerospace industries.

Exports of aircraft seating from the UK have been growing significantly over the last few years. According to HMRC statistics, in 2014 the exports of aircraft seats from the UK were valued at over £400m. The value of exports of aircraft seating has more than doubled over the last 4 years (see below) – growing at over 20% compound annual growth rate since 2010 – demonstrating the increasing demand and production levels required from the global aerospace industry.

Aircraft Seats

These growth levels are underpinned and driven by the UK’s position as a world leader in aircraft seat design, development and manufacturing.

For example, B/E Aerospace, located in Kilkeel Northern Ireland, has shipped around 110,000 aircraft seats from the UK in its history – and now distributes a rate of 3 Boeing 737 aircraft seats per day. This work supports nearly 900 jobs at their Country Down facility, and sustains hundreds more in the local supply chain of around 40 companies.

And it’s not just in the civil Aerospace area where the UK’s global position has grown. Martin Baker is one of the most iconic ejection seat companies in aerospace history. Starting its business in the early 1930s, it has equipped nearly 200 major military aircraft platforms over the last 70-80 years. Crucially, it has also saved over 7,400 lives from successful ejections which have taken place in both testing and operational environment. It is also the key supplier of ejection seats for the most advanced fighter aircraft platform ever developed – the F-35 Lightning II. The clip below shows the seat itself in testing….