The Top Companies In Aviation Manufacturing


Once Wilbur and Orville Wright successfully launched the first “heavier-than-air” craft at Kittyhawk in 1903, the world was never to be the same. Only a decade later, the first scheduled commercial flight, an amphibious plane, flew the short distance between Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Since then, passenger airline companies around the world have evolved, thrived, and merged as the global demand for air travel continues to grow. Aviation has made a substantial difference in the retail business also, as coast-to-coast overnight deliveries have become a reality.

Today, evidence of large and small aircraft crisscross our skies daily as they transport people and goods from one location to the next. At peak traffic times, estimates indicate as many as 16,000 airplanes are in the air at one time.

How Many Airplanes in the World Today?

According to an article in the UK publication, The Telegraph, there are currently over 39,000 commercial and military airplanes operating throughout the world. This number does not include the 20,000 or so private jets used for private and corporate transport, as reported by Forbes Magazine.

Top Aviation Manufacturers in the World

As we approach the third decade of the 21st century, which are the companies that lead in aviation production?

Ranked by total 2016 annual U.S. dollar sales of commercial and military aircraft, the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers, according to, are:

  • Boeing $94.6 billion
  • Airbus Group $70.3 billion
  • United Technologies $57.2 billion
  • Lockheed Martin $47.2 billion
  • Honeywell $39.3 billion
  • Mitsubishi $ 33.5 billion
  • General Dynamics $31.3 billion
  • Northrup Grumman $24.5 billion
  • Raytheon $24.1 billion
  • BAE Systems $21.9 billion
  • Safran SA $18.8 billion
  • Rolls Royce Holdings $18.4 billion
  • Embraer $6.2 billion

On the private side, demand for the Cessna 172 (4-seater) has led the way with over 44,000 having been built since 1956.

Expansion continues. The 2018 passenger traffic is expected to double to 7.8 billion air travelers by 2036, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Developing Maintenance and Technician Shortage Crisis

Given the projected growth, a serious concern is emerging throughout the aviation industry. The number of qualified aviation mechanics and technicians expected to enter the workforce today may not keep up with growth and attrition in the sector. More concerning is the fact that many of today’s experienced professionals, with an average age of fifty-one, will be retiring in the coming decade.

Boeing predicts that up to 600,000 new aviation technicians will be required by 2031.

Outsourcing Your Aircraft Maintenance Personnel Recruiting

Aircraft maintenance personnel are responsible for keeping passengers and aircraft safe. This technical profession requires knowledge, skills, and a commitment to perfection.

Contracting aviation mechanics and other aviation professionals offers significant advantages that allow companies to eliminate complex Human Resources issues related to recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees.

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