Aerospace and defense industries around the world have yet to fully absorb the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic, as continued twists and turns in the global public health crisis make forecasting a precarious activity. But that hasn’t deterred international trade associations converging on the Singapore Airshow to promote their member companies and what their nations have to offer by way of export potential, partnerships, and inward investment opportunities.

Last month, the UK’s ADS industry trade association reported that aerospace manufacturing remained weak as 2021 closed, mainly due to continued uncertainty in the air transport sector caused by the outbreak of the Omicron variant. The organization, which represents aerospace, defense, security, and space companies, said that the manufacturing output has continued to decline at marginal rates, despite some improvement since the summer of 2021. As of the end of November, it remained 36.1 percent below its output in February 2020, just before health officials declared Covid a pandemic.

“It’s certainly premature to say that an overall recovery from Covid is underway,” CEO Kevin Craven told AIN. “The industry is recovering in some areas but it’s slow, and we think it will be challenging to get back to 2019 figures much before 2023 or 2024.”

For instance, even though order activity for single-aisle airliners appears to have heightened compared with six months ago, sales remain around 40 percent down on 2019 levels. The situation for widebody aircraft is worse, at around 55 percent below par.Read more