Business jet demand has slowed measurably in January 2024, lower activity year on year, and a narrowing gain on pre-pandemic January 2019. It could be a blip, with a lot of activity disrupted by bad weather in the US this month. Europe has slowed too, although Spain, Italy and Turkey are all showing resilient demand this month.

Global business aviation activity, business jets and props, so far this year (January 1st – 28th) is currently 4% behind last year, 16% ahead of comparable January 2019. Scheduled airline sectors this month are on par with 2019, 9% ahead of last year. This month has been a slow start to the year for cargo sectors, flights 6% behind last year, 3% ahead of 2019.

 Chart 1: Global flight activity, 1st – 28th January 2024 compared to previous years.  
(Business aviation includes turboprops and business jets)  

North America  
Twenty-eight days into January, business jets in North America are flying 6% fewer flights than last year, 15% ahead of January 2019. Busiest US State Florida has seen bizjet flights fall just short of 29,000 flights so far this month, activity 5% behind last year. Bucking this trend, bizjet fractional departures out of Florida airports higher than any January in the last 5 years, Palm Beach the top departure airport, Bahamas the number one international destination. 

Of the busiest five US States this month, New Jersey’s year on year decline was the smallest. From the key airport, Teterboro, outbound traffic of Super Midsize and Ultra-long-range business jet sectors were up year on year.

Chart 2: Top 5 US business jet States, 1st – 28th January departure change % vs 2023 

As January 2023 ends, business jet and turboprop activity in Europe is trending 4% behind comparable last year, 4% ahead of January 2019. Scheduled airline activity in Europe is still 20% behind pre-pandemic January 2019, just 2% ahead of January last year.

All three top European business jet markets are seeing declines compared to January last year. Busiest market this month is France, seeing a 10% YOY decline in business jet departures compared to last year, UK down 4% YOY, Germany down 11% YOY.

Chart 3: Bizjet departure trends from busiest European countries in January 2024 

Spain and Italy buck the European regional trend, flight activity 7% and 1% ahead of January 2023, respectively. Fractional operators are flying more than any January in the last 5 years. Super Light and Ultra-long-range jets are driving demand in Italy, these segments 6% and 1% ahead of last year respectively.

Just shy of 1,500 departures, Paris Le Bourget is the busiest bizjet airport in Europe this month, activity is however down 9% compared to last year. Just under 800 bizjet departures flew out of Farnborough this month, 7% fewer than last January. France, Switzerland and Germany are the top international destinations out of Farnborough this month, Le Bourget the top destination airport.

Chart 4: Top airports for business jet activity in Europe in January 2024 

Asia & Middle East 
Twenty-eight days into January and business jet activity in the Middle East is ahead of every January for the last 5 years. UAE and Saudi Arabia seeing strong growth this month compared to the start of January last year, contrast Israel seeing sectors drop 23% compared to January 2023. Across Asia business jet activity has fallen 1% compared to last January, although 66% ahead of 2019. Ultra-Long-range jets remain the busiest aircraft segment, although flights are down 4% compared to last year. China is seeing 5% declines compared to January last year, contrast busiest market India, seeing 5% YOY growth.

Africa & South America
In Africa bizjets are flying 12% more than comparable last year. Top market Nigeria saw activity drop 4% compared to last year, triple digit growth compared to pre-pandemic January. Elsewhere South Africa seeing strong growth over the last 5 years. In South America bizjet activity is 8% ahead of 2023, triple digit growth compared to 2019. Light jets are flying the most across the region, midsize jets seeing a sizeable drop in sectors compared to last year. Bizliner activity has dropped by 41% compared to January 2023.

Chart 5: Africa Bizjet airports, 1st – 28th January 2024 compared to previous years.



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