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Covid fallout continues to cripple new aircraft orders as deal for Bombardier enters final stages


Bombardier purchase is due to enter final stages this week

Bombardier purchase is due to enter final stages this week

Bombardier purchase is due to enter final stages this week

No orders were placed for commercial aircraft around the world last month - helping make the third quarter of 2020 the worst on record for the industry, a report said today.

With a deal for the purchase of Bombardier, Northern Ireland's biggest aerospace company, due to enter its final stages this week, the report by ADS shows the continued impact on the wider aviation industry of Covid-19.

ADS said the 173 aircraft deliveries in the three months to the end of September also made it the worst quarter for deliveries.

Howver, ADS said there were some signs of improvement.

It also says that a testing regime which could shorten the 14-day quarantine period for travellers is an urgent requirement for industry.

Only 13 global commercial aircraft orders were placed in quarter three this year, down over 90% on last year.

Aircraft around the world have been grounded since the outset of Covid-19, with airlines continuing to cut schedules as fresh lockdowns as imposed in many locations.

July and August, with four and nine orders respectively, claimed the only aircraft orders in Q3 after no orders were placed in September.

There were 10 orders for single-aisle aircraft and three orders for wide-body aircraft.

Only 173 new aircraft were delivered, again making the last few months the worst Q3 on record.

Of these 173 aircraft delivered, 135 were single-aisle and just 38 were wide-body - thanks to the steep decline in long haul international travel and demand for larger commercial jets in recent months.

September saw an increase in deliveries to levels almost similar to February before lockdowns across the globe. However, that was still far below normal levels expected for this time of year.

ADS chief executive Paul Everitt said: "The aerospace and aviation industries have invested in robust health and safety measures as part of aircraft design which makes the risk of transmission when travelling aboard an aircraft extremely low.

"We need to continue to work together internationally to improve consumer confidence and encourage a return to the skies.

"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.

"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."

Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita is to close the $0.5bn deal to buy Bombardier, which has up to 3,000 staff here, on Saturday.

A spokesman for Bombardier in Canada yesterday said there was no update on the deal.

Spirit Aero Systems had said last month that it was still seeking assurances on certin elements of the deal.

At the time, the Bombardier spokesan said: "It is true that there are still closing conditions to be met to complete the transaction but we've been saying for the last couple of weeks that parties are working to resolve them over the fall, which is exactly what we are doing."

In a regulatory filing on September 22, Spirit had said that "there can be no assurances" that conditions will be in place to go ahead with the deal. The Bombardier deal's conditions, "some of which remain outstanding", include terms related to "material adverse change" to the Bombardier commercial aerospace businesses, it said.

Belfast Telegraph