U.S. private jet charter market hitting record levels in March

By Doug Gollan, March 26, 2021

March private jet charter flights to Florida are 19% higher than 2020 and 2019 levels, WingX reports

March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb, goes the old saying. According to WingX’s weekly private jet tracking report, the U.S. private jet market has been all big cat this month so far.

Branded charter operations in the U.S. are up 16%, suggesting that we are now seeing record levels of activity,” said Richard Koe, managing director of aviation analysts WingX.

Compared to March 2020, the biggest rebound is in super-midsize and midsize private jets. Flying in up 20% this month. At the same time, small is hot, too. Very light jet sectors are up by 31% year-on-year.

Florida continues to be busy with flight activity 19% above the March 2020 peak, which was itself higher than any day in March 2019.

Charter demand has been the main driver, with this month’s trend peaking at 360 daily sectors. That compares to a 304 segment peak in March 2020 and a high point of 246 daily sectors in March 2019.

Miami-Opa Locka Airport has maintained its strong growth this month. Departures are up 50% compared to last year.

“In the U.S., there are signs that business jet activity in 2021 may exceed 2019 activity in some states, particularly for the charter market,” Koe predicts.

Overall, North America continues to drive global recovery in private aviation activity. The rolling 7-day average activity was at pre-Pandemic pace last week. The 6,437 sectors on March 17th compares to 6,326 on the comparable day in March 2020 and 6,815 back in March 2019.

Month-to-date private flights are up by 17% compared to last year. The major rebounds have been in Part 91k fractional operations, up 21% off last year’s lows. Part 91 private owners and corporate flight department traffic is 15% up versus March 2020.

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