European demand surges as growth rates cool in the US.
16/6/2022 – WINGX’s weekly Business Aviation Bulletin.
Whist business jet demand appears to have peaked in some countries, such as Spain and Florida, it’s still seeing the full rebound in other places such as Singapore and notably in the UK. Owner flights have been increasing the most in the last 2 months, with Corporate Flight Departments now flying more than back in 2019.
At the mid-point in the month, June is still on target to be the busiest ever month of June for business aviation, with combined business jet and prop sectors up by 9% worldwide, compared to June 2021. Compared to June 2019, business aviation flights are up 15%. Excluding the turboprops, business jets are 21% busier. Global cargo operations are trending down in the last few months, 6% fewer than June 2021. Scheduled airline sectors worldwide are still down 23% compared to pre-pandemic 2019. Regional airlines are performing worst, activity down more than 30%.
Chart 1: Activity (sectors flown) by global flight sector in June 2022
In week 23, from 6th to 12th June, business jet traffic in North America was up 6% on week 22, and up by 9% compared to week 23 2021, slowing slightly compared to 11% gains over the last 4 weeks. Part 135 and 91K activity picked up 3% on week 22 but was down 1% vs same week last year, pretty much level with last year over the most recent 4 weeks. So far this month, Cessna fleets have been busiest in the region, with flights up 5% on last year. The biggest pick up in YOY flights has come in the Dassault fleet, 15% busier YOY. The 75% increase in Pilatus fleet activity reflects the new deliveries of the PC24 over the last year. Planesense, Cutter and Solairus were amongst the main operators.
Chart 2 – Business jet flights by OEM in North America in June 2022
The bulk of North American flight activity is centered on the US market, business jet sectors up 5% on June last year, up 24% on June 2019. After a sustained growth in the last 18 months, flight connections between the US and Caribbean destinations is starting to ebb, such as arrivals in Turks & Caicos, now down by 5% compared to June last year. Many city connections within the US are still flourishing, with New York to Chicago arrivals up by 59% compared to last year, +25% On pre-pandemic. Washington-New York and Los Angeles to Las Vegas still haven’t recovered pre-pandemic volumes. The pandemic era surge in Florida is starting to slow, with intra-State flights down 10% this month compared to same period 3 years ago.
Chart 3 – Business jet connections between cities in North America
In Europe, the demand for business jet travel has smashed through previous records, with last summer’s recovery eclipsed so far in June, business jet sectors up by 25% in week 23 and up 25% over the last 4 weeks. Branded charter aircraft are even busier, an additional 30% activity compared to last year. The UK is now seeing the strongest rebound in Europe, with last year’s slow recovery giving way to a big rebound this summer, with June’s activity up 86%, and 27% more flights than back in 2019. Private and Corporate flight departments have seen the biggest surge this month, although it appears the latter still lags other operator types flying far more than in 2019. Other countries with very strong growth this month vs pre-pandemic are Italy, Greece and Sweden.
Chart 4 – Business jet activity in the UK in June 2022, by Operator Type
Rest of World
Outside North America and Europe, business jet activity in South America is starting to slow down, 2% behind 2021 in week 23. The Middle East is still trending up, business jet departures up 11% YOY, although flights between Jeddah and Riyadh are down compared to pre-pandemic. In Africa, overall business jet movements are up almost 30% compared to those recorded a year ago. Business jet trends this month in Asia are variable, with activity doubling in India, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, but down 52% this year compared to last year in China. Some city pairs with eye-catching growth including Ahmedabad to Mumbai, Dubai to Riyadh, and Jakarta to Singapore.
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