Airbus 2023 results means UK sub contractors need to increase productivity

On 11th January 2024, Airbus reported +11% higher aircraft deliveries in 2023, delivering 735 commercial aircraft in 2023 compared to 661 in 2022.

Their commercial aircraft business had 2,094 orders in 2023 (net), including 1,835 A320 Family and 300 A350 Family aircraft.

Christian Scherer, CEO Commercial Aircraft is quoted as saying "We originally anticipated aviation to recover sometime in the 2023-2025 timeframe, but what we saw in 2023 was, alongside the single-aisle market, widebody return much sooner than expected, and with vigour“.  [Source: Airbus Newsroom]

The most important point for the UK aerospace industry is that these additional 2023 orders have increased the order backlog to 8,598 aircraft which may increase further due to recent developments with other manufacturers.

What does this mean for UK aero structure sub contractors?

UK aero-structure sub contractors will need to significantly increase their productivity and delivery rates for component ship sets to meet this demand.

These figures should further bolster the statistics quotes by ADS back in December:

  • Global OEM aircraft backlog = 14,839 aircraft on order
  • ADS claim this is the largest widebody order book in 13 years

Commenting on the substantial increase in aircraft orders, Aimie Stone at ADS said: “.. It’s clear that buoyancy in the aerospace sectors requires a continued ramp up at all levels of the supply chain. To secure the long-term advantage of our aerospace industry, worth more than £10.9 billion in value add to the UK economy in 2022, it is important that challenges to our supply chain are recognized and addressed.” [Source: ADS news]

How should aero-structure sub-contractors react?

At M-Tech we have seen a significant increase in enquiries from tier one and tier two sub-contractors who are seizing this opportunity to upgrade their services, rather than replace like for like machines.

What many OEMs are now demanding is just in time production of aero-structure components, delivered straight to the shop floor. More than ever, sub-contractors need to produce consistent, reliable, high quality components.

UK aero structure sub-contractors need to start planning now so if you would like to discuss your machining capabilities and future requirements, please contact Mike Brown for a confidential discussion.