Business jet activity troughs at around 80% below normal

15 Apr 2020

According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker

Just over 26,000 business jet flights operated worldwide so far in April 2020, 79% fewer – equivalent to 95,000 fewer sectors – than in the first two weeks of April 2019. North America and Europe are very closely correlating to that trend, with business jet flight activity out of Asia, South America and Africa between 65% and 70% reduced year on year. Flight activity out of China is down by 57%.

Activity by operator type is similarly declining, with Fractional business jet operations slightly more affected than Aircraft Management and Branded Charter operators. Ambulance activity is down by 45% year on year. Just under 1,000 business jets have been active worldwide in the first half of April, compared to over 4,000 in the corresponding 2019 period.

The US has been the busiest country with just under 18,000 business jet flights, 79% fewer year on year. Next busiest has been Canada, then Mexico, with Germany the busiest in Europe, just 757 flights so far this month, down by 74%. France, UK, Spain and Italy activity is down by more than 80%. Flights out of Russia are ‘only’ down by 69%. The least affected major market is Australia, flight activity down by half.

The busiest four business jet types flying globally are the Citation Excel/XLS, Challenger 300, Phenom 300, Challenger 600, each flying more than 1,000 sectors, trends down by around 80% year on year. By segment, the largest cabin aircraft have seen activity most affected, flights down by over 80%. Very Light Jets have relatively least decline, activity down by 70%. With the analysis expanded to include Turbo Props, the broader business aviation trend has declined by 71%, with PC-12, Caravans and King Air 200s sustaining activity levels at around 55% of the norm.

Richard Koe comments: “It appears that the decline in business aviation activity has hit its trough in the first half of April, flying at around 20% of normal activity, rising towards 30% if we include Turboprops, where there is some resilience. By comparison, scheduled airline activity is down by 81%, with around 90% declines in Europe. WINGX expects business aviation activity to remain at around the current very low level for the rest of April, with the prospect of a spike in demand coming in May as lockdown restrictions are lifted. The bad news is that it looks like the summer season, which is critical for business aviation, is going to be largely disrupted this year, with ongoing restrictions and cancelled events suppressing a near-term recovery in flight demand.”

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Categories: COVID Impact