2023 marked a “record breaking” year for aircraft orders, with deliveries reaching a five-year high, according to the latest figures from ADS, the trade association for the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors.
The placing of 3,850 aircraft orders last year is a global record for commercial aircraft, according to ADS records which began in 2010.
Deliveries of new aircraft reached 1,265 in 2023, marking an 11 per cent increase on 2022 figures, at the highest delivery pace since 2018 – “a further indication of growth in the buoyant aviation sector”, the association said.
Following five months of consecutive growth, a backlog of 15,753 aircraft is the largest on record – a 16 per cent increase year-on-year and far above the annual growth trends seen in recent years.
The current backlog is estimated to be worth at least £244bn to the UK at current production rates and aircraft prices.
ADS figures highlight that aircraft orders increased 91 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022, with single aisle aircraft orders increasing 78 per cent, and wide-body orders rising 169 per cent, respectively.
A total of 352 aircraft cancellations in 2023 is the fewest in a year since 2018 as the demand for new aircraft and deliveries continue to grow.
Aimie Stone, chief economist at ADS, said: “With a record breaking year, December 2023 saw the highest order books for the month since 2017, alongside the largest deliveries.
“This stronger than expected December signals the best [fourth quarter] on record for both orders and deliveries since 2018.
“This surge in activity sees deliveries surpass the ADS forecast, highlighting the continued buoyancy of the sector and defiance against supply chain challenges.”
UK minister for industry and economic security, Nusrat Ghani, added: “I am absolutely thrilled to see that the aerospace sector has had such a record breaking year for orders and deliveries, helping us well on the way to achieving our goal with orders up 91 per cent year on year.
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