UK benefits from rise in aircraft manufacturing

Posted on 11 Jul 2012

Total number of aircraft produced with UK supply chain input during 2011 was 1,140, a 6% increase on 2010, according to the latest survey by trade organisation ADS.

Air passenger traffic grew by 6% driving the demand for additional aircraft to service the market with single-aisle production rising to new heights.

Following the trend, wide-body production is set to significantly increase in 2012 with the ramping-up of Boeing’s delayed B787, which has a direct benefit for British manufacturing with the company sourcing components from 250 UK suppliers.

The gross order book for the year stood at 2,932, the best order year since 2007. The strong order book has pushed the backlog of Airbus and Boeing demand to over 8,000 aircraft combined, representing 6 years of annual production.

Revenue in the UK civil aerospace sector was up by 7.6%, driven by an improved performance in exports, which were up 9.4%. Exports represent 75% of all UK aerospace revenue earnings with the EU being the strongest export region.

In a sign that companies are prepared to invest in order to take advantage of potential new opportunities and markets, there was an 11% increase in R&D.

Notable was a growth in overall employment and average wage levels, contrary to so much other sectors of the economy.

Challenges now centre on the ability of the supply chain to meet the surge demands of increasing production rates, so that OEMs can win more contracts and more business flow through the supply chain.

The Survey is available for download here: