Global activity at 2/3 normal, with US buoyed by Leisure travelers

18 Jun 2020

According to WINGX` weekly Global Market Tracker.

Rolling average daily flight activity has continued to improve in June 2020, with the 9,300 sectors operated on 16th June representing a 22% improvement compared to daily activity at the end of May, and more than 150% growth on the trough in daily activity in April. Business aviation activity for the first half of June has already exceeded all activity in April, although still trending 33% below the first half of June in 2019. Scheduled aviation activity has shown less resilience, flights down almost 80%. Business aviation share of all fixed wing activity has grown from 12% pre-crisis, to 28% in June.

By region, North America continues to show strongest recovery in business aviation, trailing 30%, with business aviation activity in the core US market 27% sub-par, and only 17% behind 2019 during the most recent weekend in June. European flight activity is still lagging, 48% down on June last year. There is significant variance among countries, with business aviation flights from Germany down by only 26%, Croatia and Sweden around 20% below, Switzerland, Sweden and Russia 30%-40% below, France 50% down. The UK and Spain are the laggards, activity in both markets down by 70%. The UK has suffered a clear setback in its recovery since the quarantine came into force on 8th June.

Business aviation activity out of Asia is down 30% so far in June, with China recovering up to 88% of normal activity, and flights in India down only 7% for June so far. Singapore and Thailand are still trailing 40%, and key markets in the Middle East are seeing only gradual recovery, with flights in Saudi Arabia and UAE still down at least by half. The most recovered region is Oceania, with flights in Australia down only 4%. In Africa, business aviation activity is slow to recover, 40% off this month, with Morocco heavily depressed, but Nigeria almost at normal levels. In South America, flights have recovered to more than 80% of normal, with 15% decline in Brazil, and some growth in Argentina.

Globally, busiest airport continues to be Miami Palm Beach, which together with Opa-Locka and Naples airports, is seeing growth in June 2020 vs June 2019. Scottsdale activity is also up, whilst Teterboro departures are still down over 70%. In Europe, busiest airport hubs this month are Le Bourget, Geneva and Zurich, with Vnukovo up the ranking as it normally is in the summer season, flights down by 44%. Activity at Farnborough and Nice is still suffering, at least 65% down, whereas Biggin Hill is only 36% below normal. Activity at Ataturk, Istanbul is only 9% down, and there has been growth in activity this month from Belgrade airport.

Busiest aircraft types continue to be the PC-12 and Cessna Caravan, both flying around 25% less than usual. Citation Excel XLS, Phenom 300, and Challenger 300 are the busiest jets, flying 33% sub-par, with the busiest large jet the Challenger 600, flights 44% below. When it comes to Branded Charter, flights down 36% globally, King Air 350 and Nextant aircraft are amongst the busiest. Aircraft Management operators are operating only 22% below normal for June, with Gulfstream 450 and 550 the busiest jets in this bracket. Overall, the large cabin fleet is still weakest, with Ultra-Long Range jets below 50% normal activity, whereas Very Light and Entry level jets are flying close to 80% of normal.

Richard Koe comments: “The uptick in business aviation recovery is what we would expect to see as lockdowns get released in Europe and North America. It’s clear in the US that the recovery is coming in Leisure flights, with June weekend activity already within 20% of normal levels. In Europe the recovery is strongest is in domestic markets, with flight volume within Germany almost up to normal levels for June. The usual Leisure activity peaks in Europe have been stunted by the cancellation of key VIP events and the complications of cross-border travel. As intra-European borders are lifted from mid-month, we expect to see stronger regional recovery.”

WINGX is a data analytics and consulting company which provides actionable market intelligence to the global aviation industry. WINGX services include: Market Insight Reports, Online Dashboards, Customised Research, Strategic Consulting, Market Forecasts and Surveys. WINGX customers include aircraft operators, airframe, engine and avionics OEMs, airlines, maintenance providers, airports, fixed based operators, Satcom providers, fuel providers, legal advisors, leasing companies, banks, regulators, investors and private jet users.

Categories: COVID Recovery


The WINGX Daily TRACKER provides you with a daily-updated dashboard on all business aviation flights operated globally.