• COVID-19’s impact on the aerospace industry leads to the worst May and year-to-date for aircraft deliveries on record.
  • Aircraft order backlog remains below the 14,000 mark, but there were only 16 cancellations in May as industry evaluates long-term impact and waits for international travel to resume. 
  • UK aerospace industry requires sector specific support to maintain capability, invest in vital future technology development and compete with international rivals. 

Aircraft delivery figures for May 2020 show the aerospace industry has been severely disrupted by the effects of COVID-19 on international aviation, and on manufacturing production. In May 2020, there were only nine aircraft orders recorded, and year-to-date orders have reached 423 to maintain a healthy backlog of 13,779, this is largely due to a record January before the effects of the crisis were felt. Orders are expected to be impacted for months to come while the consequences of the pandemic continue to be felt in aviation and in manufacturing.

The 28 aircraft deliveries for the month marks a 75 per cent decrease on the same month last year, as airlines have been unable to receive deliveries or have put them on hold due to COVID-19. When deliveries start to pick up again it is expected to be a slow recovery to reach the record pre-crisis production levels of recent years.

Industry now looks to the Government to deliver the urgent support it needs, enabling the resumption of flights, ensuring public procurement spending power is best used to support UK industry and the high value jobs it provides, and investing in sustainable technology. 

ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: 

“This crisis has brought serious challenges to the UK’s aerospace industry and will continue to do so as it experiences a slower restart than many sectors.

“We welcome the announcement this month by the Transport Secretary of the Jet Zero Council and investment in sustainable aviation fuels. These are positive steps, but we now need to see focussed support to protect the tens of thousands of jobs that are at risk in our world leading aerospace industry.

“We are clear on the steps that need to be taken to make sure we can compete internationally for exports and investment. These include investing in developing and building the sustainable aircraft that will help us to meet our target of Net Zero by 2050, maximising the power of Government procurement to deliver high value jobs in every part of the UK, and ensuring that financial support is in place for supply chain businesses who need it.”