Region/Countries: Canada, North America Industry: Aviation / Aerospace, Manufacturing Date: July 2017

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Recent aircraft orders have led to a backlog that is expected to take eight years to clear, resulting in opportunities for Wisconsin companies that supply the aerospace sector.

Canada’s aerospace sector is the fifth-largest in the world, having generated just over $27 billion in revenues in 2016 and seeing growth of close to 20 percent from 2011 to 2016. The industry comprises two main segments, with 70 percent dedicated to manufacturing and 30 percent maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). The majority of manufacturing activity is in central Canada, while western Canada leads in MRO activities.

This sector includes both Canadian and multinational companies, and is Canada's most innovative manufacturing sector, ranking in the top three globally for the production of civil aircraft, helicopters, engines and flight simulators. Other leading market segments are robotics and satellite technologies; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and landing gear systems. 

In 2016 Canada’s aerospace manufacturing industry saw an increase in new orders booked for commercial aircraft, which would outpace manufacturing capacity and result in a backlog that is expected to take nearly eight years to clear. Aging aircraft fleets, rising fuel prices in coming years, growing concerns about climate change, and increasing air travel are encouraging airlines to replace their less fuel-efficient aircraft, which has provided the opportunity for growth. The Canadian aerospace industry’s order book for commercial aircraft was recently lifted by new orders from Air Canada, Air Baltic, and Delta Air Lines for Bombardier C series aircraft. Bombardier now has a total of 325 firm orders from 15 customers across the globe for C series aircraft, which amounts to an estimated catalogue value of between $20 billion and $25 billion.

The U.S. is the Canadian aerospace sector’s largest trading partner, with approximately 40 percent of domestic demand for aerospace products fulfilled by U.S. imports and about half of Canadian-made aerospace products exported south of the border. With the expected continued growth of new aircraft production demand, there are market opportunities for Wisconsin firms that supply the aerospace sector.