WingX sees small signs of a private jet rebound

By Doug Gollan, May 4, 2020

The 7-day moving average for global private jet travel has increased daily since bottoming out in mid-April

Aviation research WingX delivered some long-awaited positive vibes for business aviation last week. The Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic has seen furloughs by major players, a bankruptcy, and a dip in travel by as much as 80%.

“Some good news can be identified in the incremental pick-up in business aviation flight activity in the last few days: sectors flown in the last seven days have exceeded the activity of the previous seven days by 19% globally, with the same comparison showing a 13% growth trend in Europe and North America, and a doubling of flights in Asia,” WingX reports.

The data reported is through April 27.

WingX private jet travel trends April 2020
The WingX Global Market Tracker (above) showed an upward curve for private aviation in the second half of April

The moving seven-day average every day since April 15th. Scheduled airline flights continue to decline, the research says.

Private Jet Covid-19 rebound?

“The incremental growth in business aviation activity in the last 10 days appears to correlate with the cautious relaxation of virus-suppression policies in various regions of Asia, Europe, and North America,” said Richard Koe, managing director of the firm.

He added, “With scheduled airline capacity still largely locked up, those business aviation operators which have kept fleets in operation may be stepping in to serve pent-up demand.”

Koe noted, “As wider measures are adopted to relax the lockdown, we expect to see some recovery in flight activity, especially in domestic markets, which may continue to favor lighter aircraft.”

Just over 2,000 business aviation aircraft were operational on a daily basis worldwide in the last week of the data. That’s less than a third of the normal operational fleet.

Wing X noted that business aviation is still tracking ahead of the airlines which have 80% of their fleets grounded.

The most resilient markets for private travel last month were Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, and Brazil. Italy,

Spain, Mexico, and France registered the biggest drops in flight activity in April.

WingX said last month light jet activity was 70% below normal while large-cabin long-range flew 80% fewer sectors. The turboprop segment was down by just under 60%. The busiest aircraft was the Cessna 208 Caravan, followed by Pilatus PC12 and King Air 200, 90, and 350. The busiest private jet platform was the Challenger 300.

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