Just four aircraft orders were placed last month as the pandemic continues to take its toll on travel and the aerospace industry.
There were 47 commercial aircraft deliveries in January 2021, up 7% compared with January 2020, but just four aircraft orders were placed in the first month of the year.
The "slight uptick" in deliveries on pre-pandemic January 2020 provides a steady start to the year according to ADS, the UK trade organisation which published the statistics.
The group, which represents the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, with more than 1,000 member businesses, said the four aircraft orders placed in January 2021 make it the worst January on record for orders, demonstrating the continued suppressed demand for aircraft due to the global pandemic and international travel restrictions.
The four orders that were placed were all for widebody aircraft, with no single-aisle aircraft orders placed in January for the first time on record, providing a stark comparison to January 2020 which achieved a new record high.
The overall aircraft order backlog of 12,989 could still be worth up to £184bn to the UK, however it is the first time the backlog has dropped to below 13,000 aircraft since July 2015 due to non-Covid related order cancellations and lack of demand of new aircraft. Before the pandemic, the backlog peaked at more than 14,000 orders.
As aviation and aerospace industries in the UK continue to be heavily affected by the pandemic as demonstrated by continued record lows for the sector, ADS has been calling for direct support for the industry to get the sector through this unprecedented crisis.
ADS chief executive Paul Everitt said: "We are almost a year into the global pandemic and the UK's aerospace sector continues to struggle with draconian travel restrictions.
"Whilst I am confident travel demand will return, the timing of the recovery is now more difficult to predict. Co-ordinated international action is necessary to reopen borders and allow consumers to travel with confidence.
"The Government must act swiftly to ensure financial support reaches airlines, airports and aerospace companies. Backing the UK's aerospace industry will help manufacturers survive the impact of the pandemic, retain the skills to stay internationally competitive, and enable the UK to maintain capabilities required to be a leader in developing new technologies."