Just nine orders for commercial aircraft were placed globally in August due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it the lowest for the month on record, according to aerospace trade body ADS.
“The figure is a 59% decline in August 2019 and a 91.3% decline in two years ago. Since the start of the crisis in March, just 123 orders have been placed,” ADVANCE, the communications resource produced in partnership with ADS, reported.
The statistics underline the scale of the challenges facing the aerospace industry as the outbreak heavily dents levels of air travel.
The report says aircraft deliveries are also impacted by deferrals with just 52 deliveries in July, a 55.9% decline in the same month two years ago.
“The total backlog orders for aircraft were at 13,518 for August 2020, representing a further 2% decline on the same time last year due to low order volumes and cancellations and a fall from a peak of more than 14,300 seen at the end of 2018.”
The remaining aircraft backlog is estimated to be £206 billion worth of work to the UK and seven years’ worth of work, ADVANCE wrote, citing London-based ADS.
“The aerospace industry in the UK and around the world is feeling the effect of travel restrictions, and 2020 is set for the lowest number of global aircraft deliveries in more than a decade,” ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said in a statement.
He warned that the jobs of 110,000 jobs are at risk in the UK aircraft manufacturing industry and urged the government to do more to open up air travel again.
“The industry is looking to the government to act urgently to develop and reform its quarantine policy, using testing to reduce the period air travelers need to isolate after arrival in the UK.”
In his view, a full restart for aviation is the only way to ensure the future of the UK’s “highly skilled” and “innovative” aerospace sector and will be an “essential component” of economic recovery.
2020 is set for the lowest number of global aircraft deliveries in more than a decade.ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt
Call for Modifications
ADS has repeatedly called for modifications to the British government’s 14-day quarantine policy to help the aviation and aerospace industry recover while protecting public health.
In early September, it said steps should be implemented to ensure travelers are healthy before their flight, including temperature scanning and self-certification.
The industry body also proposed a combination of testing air travelers on arrival at their destination and in the days after they arrive to safely reduce quarantine from 14 days.
It added that the government should be clear in its criteria for travel corridors and give travelers the necessary information so that they can plan and travel with confidence.
Read more: COVID-19 Mass Layoffs Brewing in Europe
“Restoring confidence in travel and reducing all unnecessary delays in travelers returning to their normal lives can support a faster rebound from this unprecedented crisis and avoid thousands more jobs being lost,” Everitt said.