Private Jet flights rebound over 40% from April lows

By Doug Gollan, May 7, 2020

WingX’s weekly Global Market Tracker is showing the glass may indeed be half full for business aviation

Private aviation, just 15% of the global flights at the start of March, now represents 33% of all departures

Pop the champagne! Global business aviation activity was down by 68% for the period April 1st through May 5th, according to WingX’s closely watched weekly Global Market Tracker survey.

The North American and European markets declined by 69% and 70% respectively, compared to the same dates in 2019.

What’s the good news?

The moving 7-day average activity continued its steady improvement on a global basis. Since mid-April lows with an average of 3,600 daily departures, in the just-completed week, daily departures averaged 5,200 private flights. That represents a 44% jump since the bottoming out.

Daily private jet flights have increased by 40% from their mid-April lows, according to WingX
Weekly business aviation flight have rebounded 40% from their April lows, according to the WingX weekly Global Market Tracker

The past week was a repeat of the previous week’s trend, which saw a 19% week over week gain.

Daily departures fell from 12,500 in mid-March dropping to 3,637 on April 14th. The falloff represented a 70% decline in a one-month period. However, at the end of the last tracking period daily departures had surged, breaking the 5,000 flight barrier.

“Continued improvement in the seven-day moving average activity since mid-April is encouraging, even if activity trends are still running at least 60% below normal in May so far,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe.

In a note of caution, he added, “It’s also clear that the current momentum in traffic is being operated by the turboprop market, with some increment in light jet flying but with most of the large cabin fleet inactive.”

Koe commented, “With Tromsø (Norway) ranking as the third busiest airport for business aviation in Europe, this is clearly far from being a normal market.”

Private aviation gains on the scheduled airlines

Back for a bit more positivity, WingX reports “recovery in business aviation activity is far more perceptible than in scheduled airlines.” Business aviation activity comprised about 15% of flying at the start of March. It now represents around 33%.

Executives and analysts have said it may take scheduled airlines until at least 2023 to restore travel levels to 2019 totals.

For private aviation, after the United States and Canada, the third busiest country was Australia, where flight activity was 37% below normal.

Germany was the busiest European market, with flights down by 63%. Both France and the UK (where Biggin Hill was the busiest airport in London) were off by 75%. Business aviation flight activity in Sweden declined by 29% during the period.

Apart from flights between the United States and Canada, almost all business aviation activity is domestic, according to the tracking report.

WingX is a data analytics and consulting company that provides market intelligence to the global aviation industry.

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