UK aerospace soars to new heights in first half of 2018

Posted on 31 Jul 2018 by Jonny Williamson

The first six months of the year saw the UK’s aerospace sector set new records for deliveries and the total order backlog.

UK aerospace - Commercial airplane at the sunrise aerospace aircraft aviation - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
The value of delivers made so far in 2018 are estimated to be worth up to £13bn to the UK aerospace industry – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Deliveries have set new records for the month of June at 165 aircraft, Q2 with 383 aircraft deliveries and first half year at 693 aircraft, according to ADS – the trade body for UK aerospace, defence, security and space.

The value of delivers made so far in 2018 are estimated to be worth up to £13bn to the UK aerospace industry.

Engine deliveries also saw a record June and second quarter with 362 in total, an 11% increase over 2017.

June’s figures also made this the best first six months for wide-bodied aircraft on record with 241 orders in total, a 47% increase on 2017 orders.

The industry sees both the largest backlog of engine orders with 26,068 on firm order and the largest backlog of aircraft orders on record with 14,327 which beats the backlog for December 2017 of 14,324.

ADS chief executive, Paul Everitt commented: “The UK aerospace industry is thriving as the global industry sets new record for orders and deliveries in the first half of 2018.

Everitt described the continued growth in demand for new aircraft and engines as “hugely encouraging”; adding that the sector is “working closely with government” to ensure the country remains a “globally competitive location for production, research and innovation”.

He added: “The Aerospace Growth Partnership [AGP] and the Aerospace Technology Institute [ATI] are playing important roles in securing new investment, despite Brexit headwinds.”

Farnborough Airshow orders worth £22bn to UK

Final figures for aircraft and engine deals at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow came close to record levels as the global industry sees sustained high demand.

UK aerospace companies are expected to see an estimated US$28.8bn (£21.9bn) in value from orders and commitments for engines and more than 1,400 aircraft.

Announcements by the Prime Minister and senior cabinet Ministers on the first days of the show included R&D and innovation projects worth £343m, a new Combat Air Strategy, and the site of a new UK spaceport in Sutherland as well as development funding for horizontal launch sites in Cornwall, Wales and Prestwick.

On Friday astronaut Major Tim Peake launched a public competition to name the UK-built Mars Rover at Futures Day, where young people experienced a day of activities designed to encourage their study of STEM subjects and future careers in engineering sectors like aerospace and defence.