U.S. charter and fractional flights 71% higher than 2019 over New Year’s weekend, according to the latest WingX data

2021 ended with private jet flights climbing even higher, according to WingX data. Compared to the prior week, global private jet flights surged 7% for the week ending January 2, 2022. The 65,839 flights represented a 50% jump compared to 2019, representing a 29% gain compared to pre-Covid levels for the trailing four weeks.

The U.S. led the world with a 13% week-to-week increase, with Florida flights surging 40% from 51 to 10,003. The Sunshine State had more private flights than Europe, Asia, and South America combined (see table below).

Compared to 2019 numbers, U.S. private flights were 60% higher for the week, with Florida flights up 77%, and Texas flights up 62%.

Globally, the private jet market finished the year strong. European private flights for the last week of the year were 34% up compared to 2019, while the Middle East saw a 32% surge and South America had a 34% increase.

Total – Private Jet Flight Activity Analysis – 2021 – Week 52

MarketLast Week (Flights)% Change vs. prior week% Change vs. 2019Last 4 Weeks (Flights)% Change vs. 2019
North America55,04813%56%216,29132%
Middle East947-13%32%4,57739%
South America844-32%34%4,83952%
Source: WingX for Private Jet Card Comparisons. Includes Jets and VIP Airliners.

Charter and fractional operators continued to see record demand, with New Year’s week flying 8% ahead of Christmas week. The 35,691 flights were 64% more than Week 52 in 2019 and 48% up for the past month.

U.S. charter and fractional flights were 71% higher than New Year’s week in 2019-2020, pre-Covid. Overall, charter and fractional flights were 54% up compared to 2019 for the past month.

Florida private flights continued to see the biggest gains, up 81% compared to Week 52 in 2019-20 and 75% for the trailing four weeks. However, Texas saw a 79% week-over-week jump and a 56% gain for the previous month. Despite Omicron mandates, California private flights increased 47% during the past month compared to 2019.

Part 135/91K – Private Jet Flight Activity Analysis – 2021 – Week 52

Market (Part 91K & Part135)Last Week (Flights)% Change vs. prior week% Change vs. 2019Last 4 Weeks (Flights)% Change vs. 2019
North America29,79812%69%111,28154%
Middle East377-11%53%1,65248%
South America21-36%0%11717%
Source: WingX for Private Jet Card Comparisons. Includes Jets and VIP Airliners.

While other parts of the world saw week-to-week declines in fractional and charter activity, European flying was still 28% higher than in 2019 for the past four weeks. In the Middle East, flights were 48% ahead of 2019 levels.

What’s more, Argus TraqPak predicts North American flights will be up 38% year-over-year for January.

How much more can charter and fractional activity increase?

“From all accounts, we are now living in a world where demand is outstripping supply, and solving for that supply shortfall is going to take time,” says Greg Johnson, CEO of Tuvoli, which also tracks charter flight data.

He adds, “This means that from a year over year flight volume perspective, we’re not likely to see the same type of growth that we did in 2021 because the capacity isn’t there to support those kinds of numbers. Optimization will be the name of the game for 2022.”

WingX MD Richard Koe says, “The prolonged slump in scheduled airline capacity, and the persistent hygiene concerns around new virus variants, appear to have migrated business aviation services to many new customers. The resilience of the rebound in 2021 will be tested in early 2022 by the travel behavior of business executives.”

An analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons found jet card prices are up nearly 10% since December 2019.

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