Private aviation flights were off 20% year-over-year in the first half of November, according to business aviation tracker WingX. It’s a drop from the minus 15% activity level private flying had settled into since the summer.
WingX reported, “Having sustained recovery of 85% of normal activity since the summer, demand for flights has subsided in the face of renewed virus concerns and travel restrictions.”
Still, the rolling 7-day average activity was at 11,515 flights per day, way above the 3,700 flights at the bottom of demand in mid-April.
This month, North America, which accounted for 75% of global business aviation flights, saw flights down by 23%, compared to a 16% drop in October. The U.S. is 22% down YOY this month, with activity steady since the big post-election dip at the start of this month.
Colorado activity was near normal, according to WingX. Florida was off by 9% YOY. California is 14% below 2019 levels.
The charter and jet card market continues to power business aviation, according to WingX, showing 83% of normal demand.
For specific airports, WingX said declines are “still very severe at main hubs” like Teterboro, McCarran, and Oakland airports. However, Van Nuys is only 5% off, and some airports in Florida saw strong growth. Charter and jet card flights from Scottsdale, Arizona, were up by over 50% YOY.
However, the takeaway doesn’t appear to be overly negative. WingX managing director Richard Koe said, “Under sustained pressure from lockdowns and WFH policy, business aviation activity is ebbing, but not buckling, with pockets of growth and durable demand for charter flights, especially on light jets. It may be that as the leisure market fades into the early winter, some of the corporate demand is starting to come back.”
The updated data comes on the heels of bullish prognostications from the bosses of the industry’s largest operators, brokers, and OEMs.