While airline passenger counts remained 75% below last year’s levels, private jet flights increased 5% during America’s birthday Independence Day holiday in 2020

– The 50 Busiest Private Jet Airports during the holidays

– Airports with the biggest increases and decreases of private jets

– The most popular private jet routes for the July 4th holiday

As airline passenger levels remained 75% below last year, a detailed analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons of data from WingX shows not only that private jet flights were up year-over-year by 5%, but where they were going.

Normally a niche segment, private jets are becoming more important to the travel and tourism industry, which before the COVID-19 pandemic supported 10% of worldwide jobs.

The average spend per private jet arrival is about $85,000, excluding fuel and airport charges. That means as the travel industry attempts to recover, private aviation provides an opportunity to attract the big spenders who can help offset lower volumes.

Travel Bubbles For Private Jets

A top tourism official from Thailand recently said he expects his country will create a travel bubble specific to private jet arrivals.

At the same time, a petition by Consumer Reports urging the U.S. Transportation Department Secretary to issue stringent guidelines to airlines about keeping planes clean and social distancing in airports has received over 26,000 signatures.

Reduced airline schedules and trepidation by affluent consumers about boarding packed planes has led to a surge in new users of private flights. NetJets, Sentient Jets, Vista Jet, Magellan Jets, Air Partner, Jet Linx, and others have all reported record sales to newbies.

One analysis shows the risk of exposure to the virus without a cure is 30 times lower when flying privately.

For those who had and now have access to private aviation, Richard Koe, managing director of WingX, called the recent Independence holiday period “a release moment.”

The analyzed data covers private jets flights arriving and departing in the U.S. and within 220 miles of the border for similar Wednesday to Sunday periods. In 2019, the 4th fell on a Thursday. This year it was Saturday.

Overall, private jet flights increased from 41,560 to 43,438 in the period.

July 4th Holiday Private Jet Travel Trends

In this article, we give you six cuts of the data related to the July 4th holiday period:

  1. 2020’s 50 Busiest Private Jet Airports
  2. Airports With the Biggest Increase of Private Jets (Flights)
  3. Airports With the Biggest Increase of Private Jets (Percentage)
  4. Airports With the Biggest Decrease of Private Jets (Flights)
  5. Airports With Biggest Decreases in Private Jet Flights (Percentage)
  6. Busiest Private Jet Routes

Thirty-five of the 50 busiest airports for private jet flights (table below) saw increases compared to 2019. The busiest airport this year was Dallas Love Field (711 movements), moving up from the sixth spot in 2019.

It was followed Los Angeles’ Van Nuys Airport at 676 flights, up from the third spot last year, and Teterboro Airport in Northern New Jersey (662) in the third spot, down from its first place perch.

Aspen, Colorado (645) moved up a spot into fourth place, while Palm Beach International Airport (551) jumped from the 16th busiest to fifth place. John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California (532) rose from seventh to sixth. Westchester County Airport (528) north of New York City dropped from fourth to seventh. Denver’s Centennial Airport (526) hopped up four spots into the eighth slot.

1. 2020’s 50 Busiest Private Jet Airports

Airport2019
Flights
2020 FlightsIncrease/
Decrease
% Change
1. Dallas – Love Field – KDAL56971114225.0%
2. Los Angeles – Van Nuys -KVNY623676538.5%
3. New York – Teterboro – KTEB897662-235-26.2%
4. Aspen, Colorado – KASE590645559.3%
5. Palm Beach International – KPBI33055122167.0%
6. Orange County – John Wayne -KSNA4595327315.9%
7. New York – Westchester County – KHPN609528-81-13.3%
8. Denver – Centennial – KAPA37552615140.3%
9. Las Vegas – McCarran – KLAS766510-256-33.4%
10. Houston – Hobby – KHOU454465112.4%
11. Phoenix – Scottsdale – KSDL24043819882.5%
12. Vail – Eagle – KEGE3454207521.7%
13. Atlanta – Peachtree – KPDK3373986118.1%
14. Washington DC – Dulles – KIAD387379-8-2.1%
15. Miami – Opa-Locka – KOPF3053686320.7%
16. Chicago – Midway – KMDW416364-52-12.5%
17. Nantucket – KACK439357-82-18.7%
18. Jackson Hole – KJAC24535511044.9%
19. Salt Lake City – KSLC2973454816.2%
20. Naples – Florida – KAPF18932713873.0%
21. Chicago – Executive – KPWK2403228234.2%
22. Austin – Bergstrom – KAUS2453197430.2%
23. Bozeman – Montana – KBZN17430813477.0%
24. San Jose – Mineta – KSJC307287-20-6.5%
25. Westhampton – NY – KFOK296287-9-3.0%
26. Nashville – KBNA2312683716.0%
27. Oakland, Michigan – KPTK2292663716.2%
28. Ft. Lauderdale – Executive – KFXE2382632510.5%
29. Boston – Hanscom Field – KBED242260187.4%
30. Seattle – Boeing Field – KBFI302255-47-15.6%
31. Carlsbad – McClellan – KCRQ1842476334.2%
32. Northwest Florida – KECP2102413114.8%
33. Oakland – California – KOAK355230-125-35.2%
34. Los Angeles – Bob Hope – KBUR254228-26-10.2%
35. Sarasota – Bradenton – KSRQ1252219676.8%
36. Florida International – KFLL1572206340.1%
37. Fort Worth – Meacham – KFTW199216178.5%
38. Boca Raton – KBCT1552156038.7%
39. San Antonio – KSAT240210-30-12.5%
40. Dallas – Addison – KADS184202189.8%
41. Columbus – Ohio – KCMH1482025436.5%
42. Los Angeles Int’l – KLAX211199-12-5.7%
43. Sun Valley – Idaho – KSUN242196-46-19.0%
44. Cincinnati – Lunken – KLUK1601872716.9%
45. Destin – Florida – KDTS198185-13-6.6%
46 – Tampa – KTPA1621842213.6%
47. – Charlotte – Douglas – KCLT1341824835.8%
48. Kansas City – Downtown – KMKC1221795746.7%
49. Farmingdale – New York – KFRG1301774736.2%
50. Savannah – Georgia – KSAV1461752919.9%
Source: WingX

The 10 airports with the biggest increase in flights (table below) were Palm Beach International with an increase of 221 takeoffs and landings. Scottsdale Municipal Airport was second with an increase of 198 flights, followed by Centennial (151), Love Field (142), Naples, Florida (138), Bozeman, Montana (134), Jackson Hole, Wyoming (110), Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida (96), Chicago Executive, Illinois (82), and Vail, Colorado (75).

2. Airports With Biggest Increase in Private Jet Flights

Airport2019
Flights
2020
Flights
Increase
in Flights
% Change
1. Palm Beach International – KPBI33055122167.0%
2. Phoenix – Scottsdale – KSDL24043819882.5%
3. Denver – Centennial – KAPA37552615140.3%
4. Dallas – Love Field – KDAL56971114225.0%
5. Naples – Florida -KAPF18932713873.0%
6. Bozeman – Montana – KBZN17430813477.0%
7. Jackson Hole – Wyoming – KJAC24535511044.9%
8. Sarasota – Florida -KSRQ1252219676.8%
9. Chicago – Executive -KPWK2403228234.2%
10. Vail – Eagle – KEGE3454207521.7%
11. Austin – Bergstrom – KAUS2453197430.2%
12. Orange County – John Wayne – KSNA4595327315.9%
13. Glacier Park, Montana – KGPI1051746965.7%
14. Stuart – Florida – KSUA781426482.1%
15. Miami – Opa-Locka – KOPF3053686320.7%
16. Carlsbad – California – KCRQ1842476334.2%
17. Ft. Lauderdale – International – KFLL1572206340.1%
18. Traverse City – Michigan – KTVC1001626262.0%
19. Atlanta – Peachtree – KPDK3373986118.1%
20, Boca Raton – Florida – KBCT1552156038.7%
21. Kansas City – Downtown – KMKC1221795746.7%
22 – Aspen – Colorado – KASE590645559.3%
23. Missoula – Montana – KMSO4710255117.0%
24. Columbus – Ohio – KCMH1482025436.5%
25. St. Pete-Clearwater – Florida – KPIE901445460.0%
Source: WingX

Looking at airports that had the biggest percentage increases with a minimum of 50 movements in the period (table below), seven saw traffic more than double, led by Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport where flights spiked 126% from 31 to 70.

Missoula, Montana and Palm Springs, California were in a virtual dead heat with flight volume soaring 117%. Lake Tahoe, California (116%), Rapid City, South Dakota (116%), Minden-Tahoe, Nevada (116%), and Hawthorne, California (115%) all saw triple-digit increases.

Rapid City, where flights increased from 31 to 67, is the closest airport to Mount Rushmore, where President Donald J. Trump spoke during a celebration and fireworks display on July 3rd.

3. Airports With Biggest % Increase in Private Jet Flights

Airport2019 Flights2020 Flights Increase
in Flights
% Change 
1. Southern Wisconsin Regional – KJVL317039125.8%
2. Missoula – Montana – KMSO4710255117.0%
3. Palm Springs – California – KPSP245228116.7%
4. Lake Tahoe – California – KTVL378043116.2%
5. Rapid City – South Dakota – KRAP316736116.1%
6. Tahoe – Minden – Nevada – KMEV255429116.0%
7. Los Angeles – Hawthorne – KHHR275831114.8%
8. Jackson – Mississippi – KJAN27532696.3%
9. Syracuse – New York – KSYR27512488.9%
10. Austin – Executive – KEDC45843986.7%
Source: WingX

Despite Las Vegas reopening at the beginning of June, McCarran Airport saw the biggest decrease (table below) in private jet movements (-256 flights). That dropped it from second place in 2019 to ninth place this year in terms of volume.

In terms of declines, it was followed by Teterboro (-235 flights), Oakland, California (-125), Boston Logan (-99), Nantucket, Massachusetts (-82), Westchester County (-81), Marsh Harbor, Bahamas (-71), Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (-69), Morristown, New Jersey (-60), and New Orleans Lakefront (-59).

4. Airports With Biggest Decreases in Private Jet Flights

Airport2019
Flights
2020
Flights
Decrease in
Flights
% Change
1. Las Vegas – McCarran – KLAS766510-256-33.4%
2. New York – Teterboro – KTEB897662-235-26.2%
3. Oakland – California – KOAK355230-125-35.2%
4. Boston – Logan – KBOS203104-99-48.8%
5. Nantucket – KACK439357-82-18.7%
6. New York – Westchester County – KHPN609528-81-13.3%
7. Martha’s Vineyard – KMVY209140-69-33.0%
8. Morristown – New Jersey -KMMU223163-60-26.9%
9. Hyannis – Massachusetts – KHYA195141-54-27.7%
10. Chicago – Midway – KMDW416364-52-12.5%
11. Daytona – Florida – KDAB12474-50-40.3%
12. Seattle – Boeing Field – KBFI302255-47-15.6%
13. Sun Valley – Idaho – KSUN242196-46-19.0%
14. Philadelphia – International – KPHL205168-37-18.0%
15. Charleston – Executive – KJZI13699-37-27.2%
Source: WingX

For airports with at least 50 movements (table below), on a percentage basis, the biggest decline was Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas, where flights dropped from 85 to just 14, and 84% reduction.

New Orleans Lake Front saw flights fall 69%, while New York – JFK dropped 66%, Newark was down 52%, and Adirondack Regional Airport in New York was off 51%, the only airports to see drops of at least 50%.

New York State had three of the five airports with the biggest percentage decreases. Prior to the holiday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had issued 14-day quarantine orders for people arriving from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, and Texas.

5. Airports With Biggest Decreases in Private Jet Flights by Percentage

Airport2019
Flights
2020
Flights
Decrease
in Flights
% Change 
1. Marsh Harbor – Bahamas – MYAM8514-71-83.5%
2. New Orleans – Lake Front – KNEW8627-59-68.6%
3. New York – Kennedy – KJFK7425-49-66.2%
4. New York – Newark – KEWR6431-33-51.6%
5. Adirondack – Regional – New York – KSLK7738-39-50.6%
6. Boston – Logan – KBOS203104-99-48.8%
7. Gainesville – Florida – KGNV6634-32-48.5%
8. New Century – Olathe – Kansas – KIXD6836-32-47.1%
9. Monterrey – Del Norte – Mexico – MMAN7340-33-45.2%
10. Lebanon- New Hampshire- KLEB5934-25-42.4%
Source: WingX

In terms of busiest routes (table below), where the private jets were flying was more spread out than 2019.

The number of routes with at least 10 flights in the period dropped from 76 to 59 with the long-tail increasing this year. While in 2019 there were six routes with at least 40 flights, this year, the most trafficked route only saw 28 flights.

That busiest route was Orange County, California to Scottsdale (28 flights) followed by Van Nuys to Las Vegas (24), Las Vegas to Burbank (23), Las Vegas to Scottsdale (23), Teterboro to Aspen (23), Sun Valley, Idaho to Seattle (22), Scottsdale to Orange County and Aspen to Van Nuys, both with 20 flights.

Of the 25 busiest private jet routes over the 4th of July holiday (below), despite overall flights during the period increasing by 5%, 10 of the popular routes had deceases.

6. Busiest Private Jet Routes

Departure
Airport
Arrival
Airport
Airport Codes2019
Flights
2020
Flights
Change
1. Orange CountyScottsdaleKSNA-KSDL4128-13
2. Los Angeles – Van NuysLas VegasKVNY-KLAS4424-20
3. Las VegasLos Angeles – BurbankKLAS-KBUR122311
4. Las VegasScottsdaleKLAS-KSDL4423-21
5. New York – Teterboro AspenKTEB-KASE4523-22
6. Sun Valley – IdahoSeattle – Boeing FiledKSUN-KBFI4422-22
7. Phoenix – ScottsdaleOrange CountyKSDL-KSNA82012
8. AspenLos Angeles – Van NuysKASE-KVNY4620-26
9. Nantucket10. Boston – HanscomKACK-KBED10199
10. New York – Teterboro Palm BeachKTEB-KPBI10199
11. Austin – BergstromDallas – LoveKAUS-KDAL15194
12. Atlanta – PeachtreeCharlevoix – MichiganKPTK-KCVX12186
13. Miami – Opa LockaWesthampton – New York KOPF-KFOK13174
14. NantucketNew York – TeterboroKACK-KTEB2517-8
15.Westhampton – New YorkNew York -TeterboroKFOK-KTEB13152
16. Bozeman – MontanaJackson HoleKBZN-KJAC11413
17. Concord – North CarolinaIndianapolisKJQF-KIND7147
18. Ft. Worth – Meecham AspenKFTW-KASE7147
19. New York – Teterboro Westhampton – New YorkKTEB-KFOK10144
20. Phoenix – Sky HarborLas VegasKPHX-KLAS1614-2
21. Westhampton – New YorkNew York Westchester CountyKFOK-KHPN2114-7
22. Phoenix – Scottsdale Denver – Centennial KSDL-KAPA31310
23. Orange CountyLake Tahoe – CaliforniaKSNA-KTVL4139
24. Sun Valley – IdahoLos Angeles – Van NuysKSUN-KVNY8135
25. Washington DC – DullesPalm Beach KIAD-KPBI1713-4
Source: WingX

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