• Global manufacturers delivered 202 aircraft in Q1 2021, up 30 from the same period of 2020, but fewer than January to March deliveries every year for the previous 10 years.
  • Customers placed 321 orders for new aircraft during Q1, including 224 in March, the most recorded in any month since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • However, 301 cancellations in Q1 mean the overall backlog remains below 13,000, down from highs above 14,000 pre-crisis.

Latest ADS global commercial aircraft data shows Q1 2021 deliveries are up from Q1 2020, but continue to lag behind the levels achieved in the previous decade of strong growth in the international aerospace market. The month of March saw 224 orders placed, all for single aisle aircraft. The month made up a large majority of all Q1 orders, but cancellations during the quarter meant the overall order backlog remained at 12,844.

Aerospace market figures for the first three months of 2021 show the industry continuing to experience significant effects from the ongoing effects of the pandemic and travel restrictions. Slow orders and deliveries compared to pre-pandemic levels have been driven by comparatively low flight volumes in the UK and around the world. Severe UK restrictions on travel have seen flight arrivals and departures consistently more than 80 per cent lower than 2019 levels throughout the first months of this year.

Following the report of the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce earlier this month, the UK aviation and aerospace industries are seeking confirmation of a travel restart from 17 May.

ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven said:

“It is clear the aerospace industry faces a long road to recovery from this unprecedented crisis. Restarting international travel next month will reconnect our economy to our most important international trading partners, and enable our innovative and highly productive aerospace manufacturers to look ahead with greater confidence.

“As we recover from the pandemic, the most important long-term priority for the industry is investing in advanced new aircraft technology to deliver net zero aviation and meet the Government’s ambitions for carbon reduction.

“Our aircraft manufacturers and suppliers are now taking forward hundreds of innovative projects aimed at reducing emissions from aviation. A strong recovery will strengthen their ability to develop this new technology here, bringing the benefits of prosperity to communities in every part of the country.”