Bizav Traffic Stays Down as Charter Demand Stabilizes

 - April 9, 2020, 10:29 AM

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

Business aviation traffic volumes have continued to fall this week in the wake Covid-19-driven reductions in economic activity and travel restrictions. As of this morning, the continually updated traffic data published by aviation services group Argus showed the number of flights in North America and Europe to be 65 percent lower this month versus April 2019. Year-to-date activity is about 12 percent less than at this time last year, according to the Argus TraqPak data.

Data analyst WingX reported business aviation departures in the U.S. dropped 60 percent year-over-year in the first week of this month. Elaborating on the data, the company said that reductions were “consistently acute” across most types of operators and that the “busiest” aircraft types being the Cessna Caravan and the Pilatus PC-12 turboprops. It said that airports in Florida were somewhat less affected than those in other parts of the U.S.

On April 6, WingX released data showing that in the first five days of April, just over 18,000 business aviation sectors were flown globally. This was around 50,000 less than the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, online charter marketplace Avinode today reported that forward-looking demand in the U.S. and Europe, as measured by trip requests, has flattened out somewhat since the “drastic decline” seen following an initial spike around mid-March. The company described this trend as “the temporary normal.”

In Asia, demand for charter flights for the next seven days showed an upward trend that was larger than “the initial Covid-19 spike” when the virus outbreak was sweeping through the region in January. However, this uptick now appears to be reversing. Arrival and departure demand for Africa has been up in recent days.

Overall trip requests for the next couple of months show demand in April to be 14 percent lower than in April 2019 and 38 percent lower for May. “There is still lots of time to recover summer demand, when restrictions allow,” concluded Harry Clarke, Avinode’s head of insight.