07/07/2022 – WINGX’s weekly Business Aviation Bulletin.
The first half of the year set a new record for global business jet demand, and although the rebound is slowing, the gains on 2019 have held steady at around 20%. The Fourth of July holiday period confirmed that airlines are coming back, especially in the US, and there is arguably a correlation with bizjet demand tapering, down 5% on last year during the weekend. The European summer demand has meanwhile hit new heights as the summer holidays start in earnest.
For the first 6 months of 2022 there were 2.7 million business aviation flights. Business jets and turboprops flew 22% more sectors than in the first half of 2021, 15% more than same period 2019. The turboprop rebound has been relatively weaker; business jet activity is up 27% compared to last year, 21% ahead of 2019. By comparison, scheduled airline sectors ended the first half still almost 30% behind comparable 2019. Global cargo operations this year have fallen off the pace of 2021 but still up 5% on 2019.
Chart 1: Global Scheduled Airline, Cargo and Business Aviation activity Jan through June 30th, 2022
The pace of the rebound in business jet demand is slowing, most evidently in the key North American market. Year to date, business jet flights are up 20% compared to last year, whereas June saw a 7% increase vs June 2021. The gains over 2019 have been sustained, with 20% increase on the first 6 months of 2019, 21% increase in June 2022 vs June 2019. On a week-to-week basis, there has been evidence of slowdown; in week 26, ending July 3rd, US bizjet sectors were down 10% compared to week 25, and down 3% compared to week 26 last year.
Chart 2 – Top US airports, business jet sectors, June 30th – July 4th2022 (PTD) vs 21, 20, 19
During the Fourth of July weekend, from Thursday 31st July through Monday 4th July, business jet activity fell 5% short of last year´s record spike, although still 32% up on the same holiday period in 2019. Scheduled airline activity was still 12% down on the 2019 holiday, edging up 1% on last year, 91% higher than the trough in 2020. Within the US, the busiest bizjet departure points for the holiday were Teterboro, Las Vegas McCarran and Van Nuys. Canada was the most popular international destination; sectors were up 207% compared to last year´s holiday period.
Almost 300,000 business jet sectors have been flown in Europe in the first half of 2022, 38% more than in the first half of 2021, and 17% more than in Jan-June 2019. Inevitably the rebound on 2021 has slowed as the year has elapsed, with June´s data showing 21% increase compared to June 2021. But the gap with 2019 has slightly increased, with 19% more bizjet activity this June versus 3 years ago. June was a particularly strong month for the UK, as it makes up for the slow-start last year: 84% more bizjet departures year on year. Portugal, Turkey, Netherlands, Sweden all saw over 40% more activity in June 2022 compared to June 2019. Bizjet activity in Russia has stabilised in the last month at 60% below where it was pre-pandemic.
Chart 3 – Business jet activity in busiest European markets, June 2022 (PTD) vs 21, 20, 19.
Rest of World
Outside Europe and North America, the rebound in bizjet activity H1 2022 and June 22 is similar, with 22% growth versus H1 last year and 17% growth versus June 2021. Saudi Arabia and Morocco have seen strong rebounds on their relatively travel-restricted 2021, activity up almost 50% this year compared to last. The UAE, resilient throughout the pandemic, is only 3% up this year compared to last year, but with 86% more bizjet sectors than in the first half of 2021. Nigeria, Argentina, South Africa and Philippines each have notable growth on pre-pandemic. China´s bizjet activity has tanked this year with the re imposition of restrictions, down 40% on comparable 2019.
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