Monday 26 October 2020 9:50 am

Aircraft orders flatline in September after worst ever quarter

No commercial aircraft were ordered last month as the global aviation industry recorded its worst ever quarter on record due to the coronavirus pandemic.

From July to September, there were just 13 orders placed for planes, a decline of 91.4 per cent on the same quarter last year.

Read more: British Airways owner IAG nosedives into €1.3bn pandemic loss and cuts flights over winter

There were four orders in July, and nine in August, before September’s dearth, the figures from trade association ADS showed.

In addition, there were just 173 aircraft delivered in the quarter, making it again the worst three-month delivery period on record.

Commercial aviation has been devastated by the coronavirus crisis, with the collapse of international air travel sending the world’s airlines into a desperate spiral of cost-cutting.

Many carriers have taken the decision either to cancel orders or suspend deliveries of new aircraft for the duration of the pandemic in a bid to slow cash burn.

The continued travel quarantine regime in the UK has curtailed the industry’s nascent summer comeback, with the traditionally loss-making winter months to come.

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ADS chief executive Paul Everitt added his voice to calls for a full airport testing system to be put in place in the UK, as has happened in Germany and Italy.

“The quarantine period that passengers face when they return home is one of the main barriers to UK aviation’s recovery and testing can play a major role in reducing this”, he said.

“The Government should rapidly implement a testing regime so that the 14-day quarantine period can be shortened. This will help improve confidence amongst travellers and in turn put the aviation and aerospace sectors on a path towards recovery.”

Thousands of aviation jobs in the UK have also been lost due to the crisis, with airlines cutting down on staff in preparation for a future of smaller entities.

Many cuts will come from manufacturing giants such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce, which have had to lay off thousands of workers amid the downtunrn in demand.

Read more: UK airports losing £83m a week due to coronavirus

By June, union Unite estimated that 12,000 jobs had already been lost in a sector that supports around 110,000.

More widely, the industry supports around 1.2m jobs directly and indirectly across the country.