Aircraft order books soar to a new high worth £220bn for the UK in the first half of 2017

Courtney Goldsmith
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664 aircraft were delivered to customers in the first half of 2017 (Source: Getty)

The UK's aerospace industry is soaring as new data reveals a boost from last month's Paris Air Show helped secure a record order book worth around £220bn for the sector.

The current aircraft order backlog has reached a record high of 13,589, which is 50 per cent larger than it was in 2012 and double that of 2010, thanks to a strong showing from major aircraft manufacturers, according to data from ADS Group, the trade organisation representing the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors.

Single aisle aircraft like the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737-Max were in high demand at the industry event, accounting for more than 11,000 outstanding orders.

The order backlog for engines rose to an all-time high too, reaching 24,162 at the end of June, which was more than 2,000 orders up from last year.

Meanwhile, 664 aircraft were delivered to customers in the first half of 2017, just 10 shy of the record-setting production rate seen in 2016.

In terms of value, deliveries in the first half of the year climbed to an all-time high of an estimated £11.5bn to £13bn, due to deliveries of 183 widebody aircraft.

Read more: Paris Air Show deals were worth £3bn for the UK

Commercial aircraft deliveries (cumulative year-to-date delivery totals, end of month)

(Source: ADS Group)

"The aerospace industry is experiencing strong and sustained growth, both in the UK and around the world," said Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS.

The global aerospace industry is continuing to build on recent records with this year's strong order trend.

"Record order numbers show there are great opportunities to be seized if we can remain globally competitive, boost our productivity and continue to attract investment," Everitt said.

The UK's aerospace sector is the second largest in the world, employing 120,000 people.

Everitt warned Brexit negotiations will play an important role in deciding whether the UK's aerospace sector realises its full potential.

This is a truly global industry and we need a good deal that secures access to the customers, skills and influence critical to our global competitiveness.

"We have already achieved up to £13bn in economic benefit from deliveries in 2017, and look forward to completing what could be another record year for the global industry and for the UK," he said.

Read more: Airbus secures bumper 100 plane deal at Paris Air Show

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