Global business aviation operations softened by 2 percent from 2021 in the first 12 days of December but are still up by 5 percent from the same period in 2019, according to WingX’s latest Global Market Tracker. Year-to-date, business jet and turboprop flights are up 11 percent from last year and by 14 percent from 2019.
“Business jet activity is steadily slipping off post-Covid highs, although it’s likely 2022 will still conclude with a low double-digit gain on 2019,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “That said, there is now a marked decline in charter activity, suggesting first-time customers may be exiting the market.”
In North America, business jet activity inched down by 3 percent from December 2021 while still remaining 5 percent up from 2019. WingX called Florida the busiest state in terms of activity in December. While activity is down 9 percent from last year in the Sunshine state, they are 17 percent more than in 2019. Texas activity is on par with last year but California is seeing a drop.
Branded charter, in particular, has plunged in the first half of December, down by 23 percent from a year ago and by 5 percent from 2019. Aircraft management operations, while marking an 8 percent improvement from 2019, are 5 percent off this month from a year ago. However, private activity is 10 percent busier than this time last year.
In Europe, demand has continued to slide with 8 percent fewer sectors flown this month than in December 2021 and 4 percent fewer than in 2019. UK, Germany, and France are also experiencing fewer flights than in 2019. But activity is ticking up in Italy and Switzerland with ski season providing a boost.
Most of the rest of the world is experiencing an uptick, aided in part by the FIFA Men’s World Cup. Key airports associated with the matches have logged a 291 percent jump in arrivals. Activity in December has increased by 20 percent in the Middle East overall from a year ago, 18 percent in Africa, and 28 percent in Asia. However, South American operations are down 3 percent.